Fire season is upon us. When you live in drought-ravaged mountains, prone to wind, with a pine beetle epidemic going on that is killing thousands of pine trees, adding fuel to the fire so to speak, this time of year can be nerve-wracking.
Last year we housed our friends and their livestock when a fire forced them to evacuate their farm with only 10 minutes to get out. They left behind barn cats and chickens, but managed to throw goats and both large dogs into the family car along with their kids and whatever they managed to grab from their home. It was very stressful and traumatic. Thankfully, they were allowed to go back to their farm, undamaged by the fire, 5 days later. All the chickens and cats were accounted for.
Our other friends were not as lucky. They returned to a completely scorched area. A fire went right through their property during the two weeks they were evacuated. They were more fortunate than their neighbors in that their house made it through. But their property, outbuilding, and vehicle were burnt to a crisp. As were the beautiful mountain views they called home. They were not able to move back home for months because of the damage and lack of utilities to the area.
The thought of possibly being evacuated when we own 2 cows, 4+ rabbits, 22+ chickens, 2 cats, 2 dogs, and 2 hamsters is totally overwhelming. While other people were trying to grab family heirlooms we would be scrambling to save the lives of the animals we have taken into our care. I can’t even think about it.
All we can do is make an evacuation plan, make a list so we don’t have to think at all if the time comes, and pray.
It does seem like the drought is better this year with the moisture we got in May with those big snow storms. But the fires raging around Colorado seem to show that we are still very much in danger as far as forest fires go.