Living On The Edge

The Cameron Peak Wildfire burns south of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.
The Cameron Peak Wildfire burns south of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.

On Thursday August 13th, 2020 at approximately 01:48 PM, the Cameron Peak Wildfire began burning near Chambers Lake in Northern Colorado.

I was at that very lake with a friend looking for moose on the morning of the day the fire began but we left the area around 10:30 am. We were lucky to have not been caught up in it.

The area of the fire is a major habitat for moose and other wildlife. An area not far from my cabin in Red Feather Lakes, I’ve been doing photography up there for the past 15 years. I had to cut my last moose outing short due to the fire and I’ve spent a lot of time watching this disaster continue to develop over the past few weeks, as it’s threatening my home in the area.

The photo was taken the evening of September 5th by my wife Trudy, who is at our place in Red Feathers as I type this. The view is to the Southwest from the shore of Lake Ramona. The fire is about 12 miles from Red Feathers at the moment and the general burn direction seems to be pushing the fire to the east towards Rocky Mountain National Park in the Mummy Range.

It’s heart wrenching to see this happening. We have several large fires burning across the state and the loss of property, the threat to life and livelihood for everyone in these areas is extensive and a lot of people will be affected by these disasters.

Nobody knows how much damage this particular fire will cause, but so far nobody has died and no property has been destroyed. I doubt that it will remain that way though.

I’ll be exploring the destruction in the fire area next summer to see if I can figure out how the moose population has been effected by the loss of habitat. It also means that I probably won’t be doing moose tours next year as well. I’ll post periodic updates to this situation as we move forward. For now, we are all hoping that the fire won’t force the evacuation of our village and even worse, burn the village and/or the surrounding communities.

Life in the mountains is dangerous. I’ve seen a lot of people move to the mountains to get away from life in the city or suburbs, only to get chased out by the harsh and unforgiving realities of living off the grid. This year, may be our turn. You never know.

If you’d like to know more about the fire, you can visit this link. Incident Information Management System by the US Forest Service.