Honoring our first responders


The Sunshine Canyon Fire was nowhere near as big a disaster as the Marshal Fire, but it could have been. Thanks to the immediate response of almost a dozen fire departments, police departments and rangers — including Boulder County Sheriff’s Dept., Boulder Emergency Squad, Boulder Mountain Fire Department, Four Mile FD, Nederland FD, Longmont FD, Left Hand Canyon FD, SugarLoaf FD and Sunshine Canyon FD — only two homes were totally lost.
I personally witnessed the dedication and heroism of these teams who worked round the clock in shifts to make sure that flying embers that ignited small fires as much as a mile a way were quickly put out before they could spread. My home was adjacent to the two homes that were destroyed, and we had more than two acres consumed by fire, which was put out around 2 a.m. the day it ignited. This was accomplished by the Longmont FD. Another team showed up with four different vehicles from Nederland, Left Hand, Four Mile and Sugarloaf who worked from 2 a.m. until 4 p.m. in shifts to put out remaining brush fires that constantly sprang up. Although evacuated for the first night, on my video cameras I could see teams running toward the fires with hoses over their shoulders or shovels in their hands. The blaze ran up our trees, which towered over these brave souls who risked their lives to save their neighbors and their homes.
As I drove down the mountain,, I was stopped by a ranger and a fire department staff who informed me they needed to cross my property in order to save the several dogs and cats at nearby homes. Their owners called in for them to be rescued. I let them know that the north side of my property was already on fire and there was a lot of smoke so they needed to be careful. Without hesitating I saw these two women drive past the smoke and flames, determined to save these helpless souls. I stopped at the base of the mountain to talk to the sheriff and several minutes later the ranger emerged with her car filled with several dogs and cats and one parakeet in its cage. She handed them off to a police officer who took them to the pound for safekeeping.
So, during this holiday season, let’s all take some time to reflect on how blessed we are to have such great friends and neighbors serving us as first responders. Thank them when you see them and keep them in your prayers.
Brett Kingstone/Boulder

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