Alumni in Colorado Survive Wildfires
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge. Photos by Dick Geddes '77.
Thanks for checking in on all of us out here in Colorado. I live in Fort Collins and
the High Park fire was less than 10 miles from my house, but we were never in any
direct danger thankfully. There had been a lot of smoke in the air for the couple
weeks while the fires burned and certain days were hazier than others. We have gotten
quite a bit of rain in the past week and now the High Park area has been experiencing
mudslide warnings. They can't seem to catch a break. The entire state has really come
together to support those affected, which has been great to experience and be a part
of. Thank you again for your concern!
Cathy (Gilbert) Willson '04
Flagstaff Fire ignited here in the Flatiron mountains of Boulder Colorado. Despite
smelling smoke in town for a couple of days, the 300-acre fire now looks to be fully
contained. Luckily, we were not in harm's way. Our thoughts and prayers go to those
affected by the fires throughout the state.
Paul Vranas '00
My family was thankfully not in the path of the Waldo Canyon Fire as we live on the
east side of the I-25 corridor. We had to deal with the smoke, but that's considerably
minor compared to those who lost their homes. We were able to see the flames from
our home, but more importantly, we also saw firefighters and police officers in the
affected neighborhoods doing what they could to stave off the fire.
My family and I appreciate the thoughts from the IWU community.
Stephany Breau '12
We live 9 miles east of the High Park Fire. The fire was never at risk of burning
our home but many of my children's friends have been affected. It is the most destructive
fire in Colorado history, with 259 homes destroyed and at least 1 death.
Jill Thorn LaCount '83
Todd, our kids, pets, and I are fine. We had to get out very quickly and saw the flames
take over our area. Many friends lost houses. Ours was spared and we are back in our
house. Amazingly, all of our friends and neighbors got out safely. The firefighters
continue to work on the blazes and hot spots. Our neighborhood has an active police
force and National Guard to continue to safeguard property while those most impacted
are still evacuated. The strength, courage, and resolve of our firefighters and police
force is tremendous.
Denise Anderson Lindstrom '89
Thank you for your concern. I'm happy to report that the devastating fires were not
close to me, but so many acquaintances were impacted in many ways. This was an instance
when the whole community, local, state and federal came together in a coordinated
Harriet Johnson Wyatt '42
We're a couple miles from the fire zone, so we're OK. LOTS of smoke daily. Evacuations
are lifted, and almost all folks are back in their homes; the ones not damaged. Friends
who lost their home kept their sense of humor: With all trees burned down and their
house high on the side of the mountain, "You ought to see our view now!"
Dick Geddes '77
(Dick also sent the pictures shown above)
Just moved from Colorado! It was sad to see my old neighborhood in a pre-evacuation
zone, but I do remember one day when I was downtown in Boulder and the ash began to
fall from the sky...
I’ll be living in Russia next year starting in August doing an M.A. at the European
University in St. Petersburg, so you can put me on the "Russia" mailing list!
Brian Egdorf '08
My family lives in Fort Collins and although we were very close to the High Park fire
and had lots of smoke and ashes, we had no other problems. And thankfully, the fire
is now 100% contained. The community has been very supportive of all those whose homes
were destroyed and those who were displaced, and it has been great to see and become
involved. The clinic I work at has adopted a family that lost their home and are helping
to provide many needed resources as they get back on their feet, and I was able to
spend one afternoon volunteering in a mobile medical clinic serving the firefighters
and other volunteers.
Janell Robinson Wozniak '93
Cami, the boys, and myself are doing well. We live on the east side of Fort Collins
(several miles southeast of the High Park fire) and thus were not greatly affected
other than smoke/ash fallout at times. Several of our co-workers were impacted by
the evacuations and experienced losses. As typical of Coloradoans and their extended
networks, the support for those families and others is amazing. Our community is quite
blessed to have the fire contained due to the fast response and the dramatic efforts
of many brave people.
Jason Payne '93