Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Hot Time in Colorado

Today there is a pall of smoke over the town of Loveland and surrounding areas.  The news lists the various wildfires erupting all over Colorado; the still growing and uncontained High Park fire west of Fort Collins, Colorado Springs where people in Manitou Springs were subject to a mandatory evacuation yesterday after a wildfire spread to more than 2,000 acres of land engulfed and Estes Park where several historic homes burned down yesterday afternoon.  Denny and I had left Monument, Colorado which is the next town north of Colorado Springs on Friday and we're currently located about 17 miles east of Estes Park.  Out of the frying pan into the fire it seems.  While the Estes Park fire was contained, the other two burn unabated and the firemen are even losing ground at the High Park fire northwest of us.

Smoke from the High Park fire billows over the hills as seen from my friend's house in Loveland, Colorado.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my girlfriend Shelley has opened her land and her house to the wolves and the staff of the Wolf Sanctuary that is located west of Fort Collins and currently in the heart of the fire area.  Temporary shelters have been built for the more tame wolves and wolfdogs and misters have been purchased to try to alleviate some of the intense 100 degree heat we're currently suffering through.  Some of the wolves are adapting better than others, but all of them are traumatized by the move, the surroundings and the heat.

This is Rajan, one of the wolf mixes that is acclimated to humans.  He will eventually be used as a wolf ambassador to promote the cause of the Wolf Sanctuary.

Some of the kennel runs in Shelley's back yard.

This is one of the shyer wolfdogs who is rather traumatized by the situation of being moved and placed in a much smaller, strange environment.
Shelley and Rajan.
This is Vi and one of the wolves; Vi and her husband Frank operate the Wolf Sanctuary and both of them along with a cadre of volunteers are working desperately to keep the wolves healthy and calm in an unusual situation.

How can you not love a face like this?
Pax is curious but very nervous in her new surroundings.

Shelley, Denny and I went out for breakfast and to run some errands yesterday.  Bailey, Shelley's Golden Retriever, goes with her everywhere and was a bit tuckered out by the heat.  He's a lover.

To the north the High Park fire's smoke was still billowing but a little further to the south and west we had a bit of a nice sunset yesterday.
Frank and Vi have been unable to get any good answers as to the status of the Wolf Sanctuary from the people working the fire at this point.  They know that some of the outbuildings have burned down and have heard that the fire has started back up in some areas that had been under control so they don't know if any of the property will be usable once the fire is out.  If all of the trees burn down, there will be no habitat or shade for the wolves and a new home will have to be found for the sanctuary.  So they are not only worried about the current health and well being of all their animals but they have no idea whether or not there will still be a wolf sanctuary when the fire is finally under control.

If you would like to learn more about the Wolf Sanctuary, click here.


Linda Wildenstein said...

This time of year, it is hard not to be near a forest fire in the western US. Be safe and try to stay cool.
Oma Linda

Arkansas Patti said...

Your friend deserves huge kudos for opening her place up to the displaced wolves. What beautiful creatues.
Those fires are awful. I feel so for the wild life that will be lost in such devastation.

Anvilcloud said...

I love it when people take care of the critters like this.

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