We would like to thank everyone for the huge outpouring of calls and emails regarding the wildfires burning in Colorado this summer. It is so very heartwarming to hear from all of you across the world who care so much for Indigo Mountain and our animals. June has been a difficult month, but we are ok.
We had a scare when the Arkansas fire erupted about 4 miles from us in early June. The winds drove it back towards Lake George and away from us until the fire crews got it doused. Then the Springer fire was ignited on June 17th by some “recreational shooting” at a propane tank just down the road from us. It came within 2.8 miles of us and reverse 911 calls went out to warn us of a pre-evacuation notice. We kept a nervous ear on the scanner and an eye on the horizon for a week.
Most of the animals curiously watched the aerial assault on the fire. They all sat and watched as one slurry plane or helicopter after another flew overhead as they made their approach to the fire. A few of the wolfdogs snuggled down nervously, and Ahwahnee became a little edgy. Most of the cats stayed in the Bengal Barn rather than venturing out into their play yard.
We are happy to report that the fire crews successfully contained the fire and are still hard at work putting it out. All of these fire fighters deserve a huge raise!
About the time the fire crews got the Springer fire under control a sick individual began setting small forest fires all over our area. In the span of a week there were over 25 fires set by the arsonist. It was a little nerve wracking to see all these little puffs of smoke going up all over the county.
Then the Waldo fire erupted just west of Colorado Springs last weekend. While it is over 30 miles from us and is not a threat to the sanctuary it has had a small impact on us. First, the winds have continuously brought quite a bit of the smoke to our valley and it has caused some difficulty for some of the animals. Teton has significant problems breathing when the smoke comes in. The minute he begins to smell smoke Teton wants inside, so he has become quite a housedog this week. Some of our senior animals have had to be put on meds to help with the congestion and breathing. But they are all doing ok.
The fire caused the closure of Highway 24 which is the only direct route to Colorado Springs. So it cut off access to the sanctuary for most of our volunteers and interns and to the stores we purchase the animal’s food and supplies each week. So we had to get creative to get our chicken shipment in. A huge thank you goes to Peggy, Kim and Kevin for pulling it all together and to Tina who made the 6 hour round trip trek for us with a very packed truck.
When the Waldo fire shifted directions and headed for Woodland Park the authorities began evacuating part of town. With very few animal shelters in the area there is limited room for evacuated pets. TCRAS has taken in over 100 dogs and cats, and we have shuffled some animals around to make room for a few so far. Those animals are now relaxing and settling in to their temporary home here at Indigo Mountain. If more mandatory evacuations become necessary we will make room for more. We wish we had a large barn so we could have helped more.
Our thoughts go out to all those that have been impacted by these catastrophes; to those that have been evacuated, those who have lost everything and to the families of those who have lost loved ones. We also want to thank the thousands of fire fighters from all over the country who are trying to keep Colorado safe. We hope the monsoons begin soon and saturate our dry earth.