Alumni in Colorado Survive Wildfires

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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 effort.
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