This is a climate emergency!

Another wildfire in Boulder, Colorado.
In March.
Following the Marshall Fire in December.

NCAR Fire on March 26, 2022

Zippy and I were heading out of a very windy Boulder this afternoon when he saw the smoke and exclaimed, “Wildfire!” As I drove, he took the above photo at 2:30 (about 30 minutes after it started.) At times, we could see the bright red-orange flames. As we continued driving south on Highway 93 with our windows rolled up,  smoke odors permeated the car. The air was hazy. Our beautiful afternoon was suddenly filled with anxiety.

This was our first time in  Boulder since the Marshall Fire and our appointment had taken us past areas devastated by that fire. Blackened trees reaching for the blue sky next to homes that were nothing but smoke-stained brick and concrete foundations. Rubble. We’d gotten emotional at those sights and then, an hour later, saw the smoke of yet another wildfire. It was happening again.

The climate crisis is a collective trauma for everyone, but especially those who just three months ago experienced a wildfire. My heart is with the people of Boulder. I’m not sure what it’s going to take for those in power to make radical changes to avert the worst of what’s to come. So far, the crisis has accelerated to wildfires any time of year.

13 thoughts on “This is a climate emergency!

      • I was just thinking about boulder today actually – for a different reason- there are two houses I sometimes drive by and they are these brick Tudor’s that remind me of the JonBenet Ramsey home (and that tragic death in 1996 – we lived in CO at the time and so that was close to us) anyhow – the two houses I sometimes pass are also in less expensive areas and sometimes I scratch my head to ponder how real estate can vary so much from area to area – and those homes in boulder would be five times the cost they are now

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      • Yes, to the variances in real estate. In fact, just minutes before we became aware of this latest wildfire, we drove through a funky neighborhood with an eclectic assortment of houses that Zippy proclaimed would all be at minimum $1 million.

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      • Wow! Well
        Hopefully they built those expensive beauties with smart landscaping that resists fires!
        And so sad about this round of fires
        We have friends that used to live in Louisville in late 1990s (when the houses were still somewhat affordable) and I think part of their old neighborhood was impacted from the last recent fires!
        Ugh

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  1. This is terrible! The past couple years I’ve been able to get my head more and more around the reality of autumn and spring wildfires in different places around the west. It was a hard thing to comprehend at first, being from the wetter west side of the Cascades in this corner of the PNW. I hope this fire will be contained quickly as possible and/or risk to people and structures will be minimized.

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    • It is terrible and very difficult to comprehend that we’ve so quickly reached this point. Thank you for the good wishes. Unfortunately, it’s windy up there today and so the fire’s still burning. But they’re hopeful they can keep it contained.

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  2. I imagine its hard for people who don’t live in wildfire country to really understand how the repeated trauma of wondering how bad a fire season will be and how ominous and dread-filling it is when the season starts so early. Or not? Maybe they face their own reoccurring traumas with tornado and hurricane seasons? At any rate, I feel you on this. I know what its like and its why I’m a disaster preparedness geek.

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    • I think you’re right, Melanie. A large part of my heightened anxiety when seeing that plume of smoke was due to knowing how traumatized that community was/is. I’d bet it’s the same for tornados and hurricanes. We’re all facing collective trauma via the climate crisis, in one way or another.

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