A Fire Within: Ghost of Storm King in Raging Wildfire

A Fire Within: Ghost of Storm King in Raging Wildfire

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Michel Field knew she had little to worry about, but she worried anyway.

Six miles from home, a brush fire burned across a highway and a river, high up a canyon.

But she couldn’t forget eight years before, how winds whipped a remote brush fire on Storm King Mountain into a firestorm that killed 14 firefighters. It roared toward Glenwood Springs, threatening the West Glenwood neighborhood where she and her boyfriend had just broken ground for a new house.

That house became her home, the boyfriend her fiance. Fearing history would repeat itself, she drove to see the fire for herself. She brought with her Janice George – her mother-in-law-to-be, neighbor and friend.

A lot of smoke, they thought, but the fire was small.

It was around noon on Saturday, June 8. The fire, sparked by an underground coal fire, wasn’t unusual, and others like it hadn’t gotten far. But throughout the arid West, there was nothing usual about the fire conditions, and there would be nothing usual about the Coal Seam fire. (more…)