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Gratitude for firefighters, law enforcement during fire this week

I left work early on Wednesday, June 16, when I was notified of the wildfire that had erupted a few miles from our house. As I quickly drove home, I had an incredible view of the growing plume of smoke.

La Plata County Sheriff’s Deputies were manning a roadblock at the entrance to our neighborhood, which was already on pre-evacuation status. Neighbors were fleeing with camper trailers and horse trailers, or preparing their properties, ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

During the time that I was hooking up our trailer, gathering belongings, and making plans for several people and many pets, the sky above our house was filled with a continuous stream of helicopters and airplanes working the fire. The fire had been burning away from our property, but the winds picked up and shifted, and our neighborhood filled with dense smoke. The air assault intensified, and by the time we were ready to leave, the winds and smoke began to die down. We decided to stay put for the night, ready to flee if conditions worsened. Upon waking in the morning, the fire had been 75% contained, and the evacuation orders were lifted.

I, my family, and our neighbors are extremely grateful for the amazing response from many agencies. The fire had erupted in rugged, incredibly dry, densely forested terrain, and could have easily turned into the next “big” fire. I cannot even express how truly thankful we are to have such amazing people protecting us.

Scott "Griz" Kelley

Durango