Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wildfires in Colorado

I graduated from a small school in Ordway, Colorado in 1980. We were a close class and many stayed there while some of us left, returned and left again, many times. Others left and never returned. I did the whole gone, back, gone, back thing, oh probably three or four times over the years until a radical departure in 1997.
The last few times I was there about three years ago was right before my mom died and then to bury her in a little town, east of Ordway, in Sugar City. We still have her home there and there isn't a whole lot there in Crowley County. People work hard, very hard. They also know how to have fun and help one another in even the best of times. This week, Tuesday, the town and its people made headlines of the most tragic kind. I only learned of it this evening. You'd think that me working in the news business I'd be more up with this stuff. Especially considering I just was emailing a friend back and forth on Monday who lives there.
The fires caused the evacuation of Ordway and the lives of two firefighters. I knew the mother of one of them. She's the mayor of Olney Springs and when I worked at the newspaper there I had met her while doing stories. Prayers are desperately needed for the DeVore family in this very sad time. Also, I found out 24 homes were also destroyed. I began reading online news accounts and found out a very old dear friend also lost his home. Those who want to help can send donations to Crowley County Community Foundation c/o the National Bank in Ordway. The people there are going to need lots of help. I also read that the Governor declared a state of emergency so resources could be freed up to help the community.
Living in Oklahoma and watching the devastation of tornados and then knowing what my old stomping grounds are like and those who live here, I know that any help will be appreciated. Homes need to be rebuilt as there isn't much there to begin with. So, even if it is just a little, think about what you have tonight as you go to bed. Then think about those in Colorado who could use just a meal even. Whether it is $25 or $2500, if you can give, please do. The videos online are heartbreaking.

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