Boulder 9/11 Four Mile Canyon Fire Wrap Up
Thank You! Thank You to all agencies!
Boulder, Colorado, Saturday, September 11, 2010: Today, the fire is about 60% contained with hot spots keeping firefighters on the alert. Nearly one week after the fire started, about 3000 residents of Boulder County are returning to their homes.
All of the 30+ agencies involved in this firefighting effort should be imnmensely thanked for their assistance. The public information officers (PIO) Commander Rick Braugh of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and Laura McConnell, a PIO for the county and interagency efforts, also should be thanked for keeping the media on top of any updates so the public could find information quickly.
Today, from about 11:00 am until 6:00 pm, I was on the trail interviewing various firefighters and checking the volunteer and donation status at the YMCA at 28th Street and Mapleton Avenue in Boulder. There I chatted briefly with Liz Friedenson, the volunteer coordinator for the Colorado Friendship organization. It’s a non-profit which provides food and clothing for emergencies and serving the needs of others in Boulder County. She said the response has been fantastic, however, they still need socks and under garments. Of course, cash donations will be accepted also.
I also chatted with the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross Public Information Officer, Chip Frye, who said, “There has been a huge outpouring of support from the community.” He said there are three collection areas for people to donate and for evacuees to pick up clothing, bedding and more. Check the YMCA at 28th and Mapleton Ave., the Four Mile Canyon Store at 2525 Arapahoe and 3111 28th Street. Frye said 1500 meals have been provided as well as medical care and mental health care also. Of course, there is “doggie day care, “ too, he added. Volunteers must be Red Cross trained.
Frye said that the mental health services are provided at 3482 N. Broadway. “People are pretty much in shock,” he said. “People should be gentle with themselves. Put off decisions for a little while. Emotions are still running high.”
As if the fire wasn’t bad enough, one evacuee went to the YMCA for items he needed, parked his bicycle, his only means of transportation , and came out to find his bike stolen. “We’re hoping to find a new one for him,” Frye said.
Later in the afternoon I was working with live TV for Boulder Channel 1 and had the opportunity of interviewing some firefighters, including those from Mountain View Fire Station near Pine Brook Hills. Then I talked with Laura McConnell, the Public Information Officer for the County. McConnell said there were 1100 firefighters from 20 states including California and Pennsylvania who have been assisting with this fire. I talked with firefighter, Bob Oliver of Mountain View Station, who said one of the most difficult tasks was fighting the fire and keeping one house safe while knowing his own house was nearby and in jeopardy. Talk about ultimate sacrifices from these firefighters.
Has anyone noticed that the wildlife have disappeared in the burn area? It is believed they took off for higher ground.
When you see firefighters and law enforcement, for that matter, just say “Thank You!”