Skies of fire over the Rocky Mountains.
After a week of 100 degree F temperatures, no rain, and gusty winds, the entire Colorado Front Range had become standing firewood for any lucky spark. The High Park Fire exploded into the history books as the worst ever in Colorado, followed by the horrific Waldo Canyon Fire, and many smaller fires. Eventually, a dry thunderstorm lit up the city of Boulder with dozens of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, several of which immediately started wildland fires. The largest current fire in Boulder County is the Flagstaff Fire. Burning hundreds of acres in steep terrain near the city’s edge, this fire quickly became too close for comfort and many residents evacuated. Dedicated firefighting crews, favorable winds, and brief heavy rain have contained a significant portion of the fire and minimized the threat to the city. As trees and grasses burned in a late June afternoon, their smoke filtered blue and green light, casting an erie red glow over the southern portion of the city. This is a year whose devastation will never be forgotten, but there is also some beauty in loss.