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“It is true that the tree smoldered for two days and it is true that 911 calls were made and I don’t know what happened between the time of those calls and when the small fire grew to 200 acres. After the fire grew to that size, it was probably too late to contain it.”

I saw the heavy smoke from DIA at 8:30 , rushed home to find only 2 hashtags from @LarimerSheriff about a “”2-3 acre fire”” which I watched grow horrendously in the 45 minutes I drove back from Boulder and was a raging inferno at 9:30 by the billowing smoke created……I was #3 Hashtag on the fire and obviously the results show how little response and timing for massive mutual aid to be called. how is it on Wednesday a cabin in Gilpin remote blows up from lightning and Timberline calls SIX other agencies IMMEDIATELY and the fire was contained??”

The High Park Fire is still with us, and it is a very successful fire as such things go, having turned 250 homes to toast and counting.

To say that the USDA Forestry Division, aka Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station beetle kill management folks have been caught with their pants down regarding what to do with the tinder the Roosevelt National Forest was a mere two weeks ago now is an understatement.

To say that Larimer County emergency services and the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department were really prepared and had at the front of their minds any sort of “what to do in case of fire” plan A, B, C, ready to go is a joke.

Meanwhile.  Why did it take five hours from the time a family camping in the foothills who called 911 to report 2 smoking acres, for anyone to show up? Thank you 9News 9 Wants to Know for raising this issue but keep on the Sheriff’s Department to get the 911 call logs– they will undoubtedly be revealing.

Unanswered questions abound.  People built their homes in the woods west of Fort Collins in good faith, trusting that if the moment came when a quick, professional reaction was paramount, it would happen.

250 homes lost, including in Glacier View over the weekend of June 22.  Davis Ranch alone: 51 homes lost, including I believe, all of those I mentioned in my poem Requiem for Rist Canyon-– see previous post. I saw the smoke and flames and I know the canyon well, and I did not want to be right– but there are the stats.

Certainly the community has come together— now.  Certainly it is great to have 1500 personnel on the fire– now.  It’s great to have a displacement/evacuee center set up on campus at CSU, it’s great to have a high tech map you can zoom into to see the areas you’re worried about, cool graphics, interactive stuff to do on all the Denver TV stations and the free sandwiches and cookies and funds being set up all over town.  Now.

Yesterday I read an astounding paragraph on the website of the Rist Canyon Volunteer  Department.  Circumventing the question of how quickly he and his team responded to the fire, the author of the post states that in the beginning when they got the call from 911 in Fort Collins about a plume of smoke up above Rist Canyon, he “hoped it was just someone’s breakfast fire, as you usually don’t see smoke in the morning from a fire.”  What the?  This suggests some marking time, some scratching of the head or heads. How long did he ask himself that question before sending somebody out there in an ATV? Again, the family who watched it take five hours before a plane flew over the fire– presumably a Forest Service plane, sticks to its guns.  Two weeks out from that first day when yes, we– you, Larimer County First Responders– Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, were all caught without any pants on.

Way to go.  Next time someone sees a plume of smoke on a nearby hill and calls you, perhaps you should ring all of the alarms, make all of the calls and get up in the bloody air a whole lot earlier.

Respecful disagreements with my post will be posted in the comments section.  Others will be sent to the trash.

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