When I heard Mile High Youth Corps would have a crew working in the Hayman Burn Area this summer and fall, I was very supportive and enthusiastic. My enthusiasm stemmed from my recent memory of this enormous fire. It seems like yesterday that Denver had orange hued skies, I closed down the pool where I was lifeguarding because of falling ash, and watched the fire blazing from Cranmer Park near the Cherry Creek Mall in the evenings.
In contrast to the summer of 2002, when Governor Bill Owens said “all of Colorado is burning”; this summer, it is great to see MHYC Corpsmembers hard at work restoring the burn area to be usable recreation space once again. Instead of passively watching the news of devastation and feeling like there is nothing I can do to help, as I did in 2002, I am happy to feel like I can make a difference this year by helping to recruit young adults to serve on our Hayman crew for the fall.
2002: “It looked, honest to God, what I picture Hiroshima must have looked like,” Sherrie Muldoon said.
2010: MHYC Corpsmembers build new trail
2002: The Hayman burned the forest floor and blackened virtually every tree
2010: Corpsmembers use sawyer skills for fire fuel mitigation work
Hayman: The final facts
From the Rocky Mountain News
Started: June 8, 2002. Reported by U.S. Forest Service worker Terry L. Barton at 4 p.m.
Where: About 8 miles northwest of Lake George in the Pike National Forest in a campfire ring.
Named for: A mining ghost town near Tappan Gulch.
Total size: 137,000 acres, equivalent to 214 square miles, or the size of Denver and Boulder combined.
Estimated date of containment: Today at 6 p.m., the 21st day of the fire.
Cause: Illegal campfire, allegedly started by Barton, 38, who has been arrested and faces four felony counts that could result in 17 years in prison.
Structures lost: 133 homes; 1 commercial building; 484 outbuildings.
People evacuated: Nearly 8,000.
Personnel assigned: 2,564 firefighters at the peak of the fire.
Cost to date: $27.8 million; could reach $52 million.
2010: Contribute to Hayman restoration efforts as a Fall Land Conservation Camping Corpsmember. Apply online or contact Alexandra (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.