Update on the Spring Fire
The fire started on Wednesday
I am still in Chicago for Bernina University. Sunday is my last day as I am MC of the final banquet and dance. I will admit that being here has been very challenging for me emotionally and mentally. I have dear friends associated with this company that have been pillars for me. I have managed to teach my classes with minimal sleep.

Justin took this photo on Thursday afternoon.


Today - I broke down. It happened before lunch and thankfully I had the embrace of so many. I managed to get it together to teach my afternoon classes.

As I write this (Saturday night) the Spring fire is just now a full three days old. It has consumed over 41,000 acres and is ZERO percent contained.

This image was taken Thursday late afternoon - 24 hours after the fire started - from the deck of our La
Veta house. 

La Veta
La Veta lies due east of where the fire began. The fire rose up to the ridge east of town where usually it might begin to fizzle a bit since fires don’t generally like going downhill.

Justin shot this image about at the 25 hour mark as flames were now seen burning trees on our side of the ridge.


However, the winds were fierce - crews were called off and the monster rolled down the hill in full blaze - only about 4 miles away from the town limits.

The town of La Veta was put on pre-evacuation notice.

Justin took this photo Thursday night from our house in La Veta. In this photo the fire is about 28 hours old.


Friday started with smokey haze obscuring the event. Some headway was made to protect the town. They created fire breaks with dozers and planes dropped retardant in a north/south line between the town and the fire off to the west. There is also fields and grasslands between La Veta and the fire (which was burning fir and pine trees). So the fuel for the fire was greatly reduced keeping the town safe, but no containment or progress was able to be achieved elsewhere and our friends and neighbors houses outside of town were going up in flames.
The fire spread both north and south. It jumped highway 160 and began to burn Mt Mestas. The Rookery at Autumn Rock (our mountain house) is on the north face of Mestas - basically on the west side of Silver Mountain. All day today it has worked it’s way around both sides of Mestas and is threatening to come down into the valley area where the Autumn Rock house is located. This image was taken by neighbors living north of the mountain looking into the the Yellowstone Creek Ranch area where our 40 acres are located. The yellow dot is where the AR house is located. The fire right now seems to be one mile - or perhaps 1/2 mile away. Below in the map you will see where the fire is breeching between Mestas and Silver and bearing down toward Autumn Rock. We completed the home in March this year.

So that you are not confused - Justin is at the house in La Veta - where we have lived for 15 years. He went out to AR on the second day and collected all our quilts and artworks as well as my computers. That is all we attempted to save from there. He is NOT out at Autumn Rock and was only there long enough to collect things.

He is safe with the girls (four dogs) and has the trailer packed with one of a kind items and our computers and files. I do not suspect he will need to evacuate La Veta now as the issue with La Veta seems contained. The dire issue is both to the north (at the Autumn Rock house) and at the legendary vacation/tourist community of Cuchara which is to the south of La Veta. The fires in those directions have no containment at all.

More info below the map.

One last look?
When I was preparing to leave Colorado for Chicago, I got the house spruced up a bit because I had an old friend planning to arrive for a visit on the coming Tuesday. Next weekend Justin’s mom and sister were coming to visit for the first time to see the house. That day I kinda just stood in the house and took a good look. I sighed - and felt proud. I remember the moment. I didn’t know I might actually be saying good-bye.

I’ve never posted or shown the house to groups or on social media. But here it is sitting in its sacred paradise. It has been a 20 year journey to dream it. Finally after years of roadblocks and disappointments - and lots of sweat - it became a reality.

Tonight, I wait - with a small flame of hope (ironic that the word “flame" is appropriate) that some miracle will save the dream. The fire tonight is bearing down on the far back mountain in this photo coming in from the left frame edge. There is no fighting it - it will do what it decides to do. Within a matter of hours, the fate will be decided - but not by me.

I cannot be more thankful for Justin’s heroic efforts and steadfast sprit. He is safe - the dogs are safe. That is truly the most important thing of all. The quilts and artworks are safe. In this devastation - nobody has died. That is a blessing.

I’ll end with… A man, Jesper Jorgenson, 52, confessed to starting the fire - on purpose. He has been arrested.


Justin has shared the following pictures he has taken - both taken from our La Veta house looking towards the Autumn Rock house OVER the ridge in the distance