Sunday, June 30, 2013

South Fork Evacuees Allowed to Return

South Fork is the small community of 400 souls that was evacuated more than a week ago because of the West Fork Complex wildfire.  The fires - West Fork, Windy Pass, and Papoose - are still burning, over 95,000 acres now, with 2% containment.  The town of South Fork has had large fire breaks plowed around it, and the fire managers have deemed it safe for residents to return - but there is still heavy smoke and lots of particulates in the air.  Some of the citizens have returned, while others say they will wait until the air quality gets better.  The town of South Fork is kept alive by tourism - once the air clears a bit, I hope visitors will return in droves.
  About half of the wildfires that were burning last Sunday have either been totally contained, or are now extinguished.  But, two new wildfires were started by lightning strikes yesterday, and the others are still growing slowly.  -  And then there is the heat wave that has the southwest area of the United States in it's death grip.  Extremely high temperatures for this time of year have caused the deaths of multiple people - from infants to the elderly.  Today, here in Boulder, we have mostly cloudy skies (so far), and the humidity is an unusual 60% - usually we're at 25% or below...  And we even had a brief rain shower while I was in the grocery store this morning, getting kitty treats and kitty food.  Hopefully there will be more rain today, but fewer lightning strikes.
  Boulder County has seen the reappearance of the river otter, and now it seems our moose population is also rising.  I'm happy about it, and think it's grand.  Now we need to get badgers,wolverines and wolves back - and I'm not kidding.  I think the original wildlife of the area should be brought back and allowed to thrive - even if it means keeping my cats inside at all times.  This is a wild and open country in Colorado - people, though really get me upset:  they move out West because they want to be near nature; they build their homes in isolated areas so they can see wildlife; but once Mother Nature actually shows her face, the people are upset.  The people have moved into places that wildlife have ruled for centuries, and then the people are upset when the wildlife does what comes naturally...  They forget about the survival of the fittest and that most creatures of the woods and mountains are true predators.  Suddenly, they want the bear (or mountain lion, or mule deer, or moose, or elk, or bobcat, or lynx, or whatever) removed from "their property" because they don't feel safe.  These are the kind of people that I have no time or sympathy for.  You can't have things both ways.  The woods and mountains are not civilized, and were never meant to be.

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