Colorado Wildfires Continue with the East Troublesome Fire

Just when the Colorado fires gain some containment, erratic winds blasted Grand County and wildfires scorched the idyllic mountain region.

The aptly-named East Troublesome Fire in Grand County exploded yesterday and grew from 19,000 acres to 125,000. It forced immediate evacuations for the residents of Grand Lake last night. Volunteers knocked on the doors of Airbnbs since tenants wouldn’t get the reverse 911. Can you imagine? Scary. Five people are missing.

This photo was taken at 4:30 on October 21 from Niwot in Boulder County. The wisp of white smoke is from the CalWood Fire behind the foothills.

CalWood Fire and East Troublesome Fire smoke in the foothills of Boulder County

That one is 26% contained. You can check out some of the dramatic photos here. I could only see a small fire in the foothills two nights ago. Smoke and haze obstructed my view last night. We are out of danger here in Niwot — fingers crossed.

Notice how the massive fire is tucked behind the foothills to the left?

East Troublesome and CalWood Fires - Billowing smoke rises from the foothills

Then, yesterday afternoon, towering brown clouds billowed overhead. Thinking a massive thunderstorm was moving in from the north and mixing with smoke from the fires, I was somewhat relieved. It was NOT a thunderstorm. The skies were clear. Heavy brown smoke rose from the East Troublesome Fire.

I took this photo at 6:30 PM.

East Troublesome Fire Explodes with massive brown clouds of smoke above the foothills

The clouds, thick with smoke, obliterated the sky.

East Troublesome Fire view from Boulder County

The CalWood Fire continues to grow to the north. They evacuated a neighborhood near Lyons last night. When will it end???

The good news:

Fog has settled into the Front Range along with much cooler temperatures. This might be the first time I am excited about the freezing rain predicted later this evening.

Massive towers of smoke rise above the front range in Boulder County October 21.

East Troublesome Fire October 21 - massive towers of smoke above the front range in Boulder County.

A huge snowstorm is moving into the region on Saturday night and will continue through Monday. Fingers crossed for a foot of snow, at least. YES!

We are leaning toward the end of October. The days are getting shorter. Winter will bring moisture. The fires will end. It will take time for our forests to recuperate, but they will, eventually. So far, 550,000 acres have burned in Colorado this year. I did the math.

I pray for all of the people and animals displaced by the fires. If you live in the area, be aware of all kinds of potential encounters with wildlife. My friend Karin saw a bear in Boulder last week. Our bobcat is back, but I would love to see a bear!

A video from last night posted on Instagram. You’ll get a sense of the blanket of thick smoke above the front range:


9:00 PM October 22 – Because the Cameron Peak Fire is growing and may converge with the East Troublesome Fire, they are pulling firefighters off the CalWood Fire in the foothills near Niwot, Boulder, and Lyons. I pray the weather stays cool and quiet. So scary!

They are evacuating parts of Estes Park too. Colorado is on fire!

10:00 AM October 24 – The CalWood Fire is 66% contained and the cooler weather should help today. The Lefthand Canyon Fire is fully contained. Yay!

Here’s a link to an interactive map of the wildfires in Colorado.

To donate to the families, who lost their homes in the CalWood and Lefthand Canyon Fires, here is the link to the 2020 Fires Relief Fund for Boulder County.

To donate to the families, who lost homes in the East Troublesome Fire click to the Grand County Wildfire Emergency Fund.

Have you encountered any wildlife lately? Are there any fires in your part of the world? Have you been affected by smoke?

37 thoughts on “Colorado Wildfires Continue with the East Troublesome Fire

Add yours

  1. Having just gone through wildfires in both Southern California AND Northern California, I appreciate your post more than ever…and it’s shocking that our President not only doesn’t understand what is happening, but WHY.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Despite the danger and destruction, there’s an odd beauty. Wonder what humans are to make of all that?
    Glad you are safe so far. Snow should help ( everyone wanted allergy season to end, but this was a bit extreme, Mother Nature.
    Heard the Nat. Forest Service was closing the front range forests for any kind of recreation. Probably good to keep people out, traffic down, and selfie/photo people away. The wild life need any spared bit of land and any peace and quiet they can find. Make lots of noise on the local trails when you go out – thars bound to be bears somewheres


    1. So true! I didn’t know they had closed National Forest trails, thanks. The weather should keep most people from hiking anyway. It’s foggy and a mere 37 degrees!

      There have been some extraordinary sunsets all summer from all the particulate matter in the air. I’m ready for a really dull mountain landscape. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m in Northern California so I know what you’re going through all too well. And we have no rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future. I understand the thrill of freezing rain!


    1. LOL! We have the strangest weather because of the continental divide. it will stay warm and windy in the mountains while it’s quiet and freezing down here. UNTIL Saturday. Then a massive front will bring snow to the mountains too. The Calwood fire is close enough to benefit from our weather. Yes!
      Super intense and scary.


  4. I woke up to an alert on my phone for the fire near Grand Lake. We used to vacation around there all the time. My heart breaks! Here’s praying for a foot of snow or more!


    1. Yes! Let it snow.

      That’s so good to hear! They aren’t taking chances with those reverse 911 calls. These raging fires are so unprecented here. They had a hard time getting some residents to leave last night. They are evacuating Estes Park tonight!

      Now I can imagine what it’s like since I started packing and expected the shifting wind on Saturday. Thank God, it never came this way.


  5. This looks rather disturbing, hope all is OK for you and family. There were massive wild-fires in Australia back in January which sent smoke drifting across NZ and dimmed the sun. A somewhat unnerving demonstration of the scale of them, given the distances involved.


    1. Did you see my last post? It came pretty close to us. Terrifying. One of my friends lost their home not that far away. Now the Cameron Peak fire and the Troublesome Fire are heading toward convergence. They are evacuating Estes Park! Super scary. It’s supposed to stay warm, dry and windy in the mountains while it’s super cold and drizzly down here. BUT a major storm will sink in from the north on Saturday. I’m praying the winds die down until then…
      Thanks, Matt!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just checked back and read it. Woah! Scary stuff. Hopefully the weather will literally damp things down a bit. Keep safe! (I haven’t had much time for my usual social media of late – ‘full time’ writing has been just that, including a flurry of publisher-arranged promotional events, book signings etc).


        1. Very cool!
          I just read where they are pulling firefighters from the CalWood Fire. Noooooo! They are moving them to the Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires to prevent the wildfires from converging at Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. Gah! I’m really looking forward to that snowstorm!
          Thanks, Matt and congrats on you new book!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been an exhausting week! 400 -500 firefighters are near Estes trying to save Rocky Mountain National Park. They should get a foot of snow like Boulder and even more in the Mountains where they are fighting the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires. I’m doing a snow dance for maximum production. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Susie, I am late to the parade, but I see wildlife often – deer, racoon, skunk – fortunately our two dogs have not found a furry black and white creature recently. Last week I watched as two racoons crossed the street in our neighborhood as I left for school. We had a fire warning earlier in the month about the time of the anniversary of the Great Midwest fire that ravaged much of Wisconsin and burned Chicago to the ground in 1871. Fortunately, no fires or no fires I know of…. it’s cooling down here, too. I saw the Broncos game on Sunday where the field was more white than green and I hope there has been relief.

    We need nature and we need to be good caretakers of the world around us. Have a wonderful day and week ahead. Peace.


    1. Hello, Clay!
      Yes, I agree that we need to take care of the world around us. It’s so fragile!

      I’m glad your dogs haven’t run into a skunk. I’ve captured them on my critter cam, so I know they are around. I would imagine that Roxy would strut right up to say hello.

      Fire danger in the Midwest must be very unusual. I don’t remember it being dry when I lived there. I recall tons of humidity.

      The skies are clear and the fires are being contained – East Troublesome is 37%, Calwood – 76%, and Cameron Peak is 64%. They should be fully contained in the next two weeks. More snow is coming next weekend, which should help.

      Great to see you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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