He still calls the ridge home


Fred Finlay proudly looks over his home that he has been slowly building on his property in the Tween Lakes subdivision after the fire destroyed his home on the property 10 years ago. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Fred Finlay proudly looks over his home that he has been slowly building on his property in the Tween Lakes subdivision after the fire destroyed his home on the property 10 years ago.

Rebuilding has been slow going, but Fred Finlay figures hes in Tween Lakes for the long haul.

The Missionary Ridge Fire consumed his temporary quarters a workshop/living area. But he got out safely with his sawmill equipment, tools, vehicles and a sailboat.

They kept telling us not to worry, Finlay said while in Durango recently. But I knew it was time to go. I slept in my truck for a week in Bayfield.

Upon returning after a weeks absence to his 3 acres on the ridge between the Florida and Pine river drainages, Finlay pitched a tent and started sawing lumber.

So far, hes built a first floor with a plywood roof.

Finlay also created a garden, including fruit trees, and planted aspen, ponderosa pines and other conifers to replace trees that burned.

If he finds work as a carpenter, Finlay said, earnings go toward reconstruction at Tween Lakes.

Theres always something to do because Im working alone, he said. But I dont have a mortgage, and Im not married.

Finlay said hes in no hurry.

Ive lived there for 12 years, he said. Im taking my time, so itll be a couple of years more the way things are going.

daler@durangoherald.com

Fred Finlay looks at what remains of his house in Tween Lakes just days after it was burned to the ground by the Missionary Ridge Fire. Enlarge photo

Durango Herald file photo

Fred Finlay looks at what remains of his house in Tween Lakes just days after it was burned to the ground by the Missionary Ridge Fire.