Certainly not wanting to jump the gun here, but as of yesterday ALL the evacuation orders throughout the county have been lifted and the skies are clear! The fire is still burning in the backcountry areas mainly along the western slopes and drainages in the Hermosa Creek valley.
On my drive up to the resort from downtown this morning there wasn’t any haze or smoke in the air that I could see the entire way. There is definitely some heavily burned areas visible from the highway, but again it is not nearly as bad as it could have been or that most of us were fearing. Being worth a thousand words here are a ton of photos (30 in all) I took today in an effort to give you the best visual of what to expect on your next visit here to the area:
These first four photos are taken from the Hermosa area, looking up the south end of the Hermosa Creek canyon and the south side of Hermosa Mt.
These next four photos are taken as you’re driving up Shalona Hill up above Baker’s Bridge with the last shot being the meadow/pasture right across from where the Old Shalona Hill road enters the highway at the top.
The following three photos are taken from just inside Glacier Club/Tamarron looking back directly to the west across 550.
These two are from the drive from the GC entrance to Rapp Corral and the entrance to Haviland Lake.
These next four are taken from Rapp Corral. The first two are of the Goulding Creek drainage which cute up through the Hermosa Cliffs. This is the last spot on the way north to the resort where you will see any truly blackened areas.
The following three were taken right across from the Windom and Castlerock subdivisions. No evidence of fire can be seen here.
Here I was standing outside the Needles Townhomes looking back to the west across 550 at Needles Country Store and Castlerock in the first one and then just to the south in the second one.
Here is the Hermosa Cliffs subdivision in these next two. If you look closely at the second one you will see one of the fire lines the firefighters built around the entire subdivision. This was all done in the first few days of the fire and they did this behind all the homes up and down hwy 550. These men and women truly worked their butts off!
These final six images are of and from Purgatory Resort. Everything in and around the resort looks green and lush as it should this time of year, no evidence of fire is visible in any direction as far as you can see.
So now Durango and Purgatory Resort are quickly working to get back on track and business as usual. It’s a little quieter downtown than you would normally expect right now, but other than that you would have no clue about the major event we just endured. Again please understand that the fire is not yet out and they are only reporting 35-40% containment at the moment. All fire restrictions still apply and our forests are extremely dry so please exercise extreme caution and good judgement.
Back to a hugely positive note I just heard this morning that they are planning to reopen the national forest and BLM lands around the area not directly affected by the fire. With this Purgatory Resort is working to restaff itself and get everything fully running again by July 1st or 2nd if all goes well!
Thanks to all of you for sending your positive thoughts, energy and prayers our way during all of this. We have not handle a single major injury nor were any structures whatsoever lost to this fire so if you’re here and you happen to see a firefighter give them a huge THANK YOU. These folks have done a simply amazing job!
My plan and hope is that this will truly be the last fire update for a long, long time to come. I hope that this final update will help to put your mind at ease and let you know that as bad as it was we really came out pretty darn good overall.
Here’s to a great summer season ahead and I hope to see you here on your next visit!
Phil Wehmeyer ABR, CRS, CNE
Certified Residential Specialist
& Negotiation Expert