When the wind began to increase in intensity at our condo complex last Tuesday, I went to our front deck with my camera to take more pictures of the
fire. Immediately, I knew the fire was out of control. With ash swirling around my face like snowflakes, I took pictures only a short time before the fire raged over the mountain ridge and entered the Mountain Shadows subdivision to the north of us. Waldo Canyon
Picture taken from front deck at 2:54 p.m. on June 26, 2012.
Picture taken from front deck at 6:45 p.m. on June 26, 2012, shortly before our evacuation.
- Yes, I felt fear. Fear is a natural response, but not an indication that I do not trust and rely on God’s love and goodness.
- Yes, I prayed. I prayed for the safety of the firefighters; for our police force; for our Emergency Management Team; for our city and county officers; for the successful evacuation of residents.
- No, I do not understand the forces of nature. I just respect them.
- No, I do not understand the columnist for our local newspaper, The Gazette, who, in the midst of hurt and loss, mocked and belittled those of us who were praying and trusting God during this time of tragedy.
We returned to our home on Friday and remain on pre-evacuation status. Ten thousand people are still unable to return home. As of this morning, the fire was 55% contained, and our hope is that it will be fully contained soon.
Our city will grieve the loss of two lives. We will support the 346 families whose homes were destroyed and the hundreds of families who will return to severely damaged homes. We have demonstrated during the past nine days that we are a strong, compassionate, and united community. We will continue to trust God. We will recover. We will be okay.