Four Mile Fire

A melancholy day with the haze of a wildfire hanging over the foothills. But for those with homes or loved ones in the burn area, a frightening day waiting for news . . . and for rain.

It started two days ago when high winds kicked up flames ignited by something—an RV or propane tank?–not yet confirmed.

The numbers mount: seven thousand acres burned, three thousand people evacuated, 54 homes lost, and eight people unaccounted for.

As I drove south into Boulder this morning where the smoke is thicker and the air smells like a mountain campfire from the burning pines, I thought of Emmy Lou Harris’s “From Boulder to Birmingham”:

And I don’t want to hear a sad story

Full of heartbreak and desire

The last time I felt like this

It was in the wilderness and the canyon was on fire.

And I stood on the mountain

In the night and I watched it burn,

I watched it burn, I watched it burn.

The stories on the radio and from friends say the same thing:

I could see the flames as I drove away.

I watched it burn and hoped for the best.

And this:

I looked at everything in my house and realized nothing mattered except getting my family and animals out alive.

So I’m listening to the soundtrack of the Irish film Once, melancholy music for a day like today.

When your mind’s made up

When your mind’s made up

There’s no point trying to change it

When your mind’s made up.

These haunting songs seem meant for today, even if they’re more about love abandoned and betrayed than any other kind of loss.

Leave, leave,

And free yourself at the same time

Leave, leave,

I don’t understand, you’ve already gone

But in love and in life, we all face moments when the decision’s made for us because there is no other choice.

Times when you don’t even look behind because it doesn’t matter: You’re on your way and there’s no turning back.

And as you go, our thoughts are with you.

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2 Comments

Filed under memoir

2 responses to “Four Mile Fire

  1. Lorna

    nice Kayann, the copters have been rattling the house all day getting water from the lake near us. We found some horse treats in the garage so we took them to the fair grounds last night for the horses displaced from the fire. So sad and apparently the worst fire ever in Boulder county.

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