CEA members pull for schools and families in High Park fire
Fran's view of the fire
Fran Docherty was scheduled to lead training classes during the Colorado Education Association's annual Summer Leadership Conference, June 11-14 in Breckenridge, Colo. The director of CEA's "Two Rivers" UniServ unit instead would be called upon to lead his family to safety.
The High Park fire forced Docherty and his family to evacuate their home in Bellvue, June 9.
"Yesterday we were able to watch operations from across the reservoir into our neighborhood but they are closing access today," Docherty wrote on his Facebook site, June 12. "Horses are safe, so are dogs and cats, but we had to leave our chickens behind. We are going to see if we can get an sheriff escort to check on them. Firefighters did an amazing job building and holding the lines. I feel pretty good we will have a home to go back to, though our friends have not been as fortunate."
Suzie Radosevich at CEA conference
Back at the CEA conference, Suzie Radosevich, office manager for the Poudre Education Association, gave a fire update to more than 250 members. She related stories of how volunteer firefighters were saving schools in the area, even as their own homes may have been burning to the ground. An impromptu donation, collected in construction hardhats, netted more than $1200 for relief efforts.
Docherty was witnessing the same generosity back in Larimer County.
"A gentlemen just donated a trailer of hay, and dozens of volunteers were mucking stalls, turning out horses and finding room for more," he posted on Facebook. "The kindness of strangers during this time has been humbling. The courage of friends who have lost their homes is profound. This is Colorado at its finest."
High Park fire at night
After returning home June 16, the Docherty family was again told to evacuate their home just 24 hours later. They returned home again June 20 but remain on pre-evacuation alert.
As of June 21, the Denver Post reported the High Park fire had burned 68,200 acres and destroyed 189 residences. Read the paper's feature on the Docherty family at this link to the Denver Post website.
Find out how to provide relief for families and animals at the following organization's websites: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Larimer Humane Society, ACS Community Lift, Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department
Fire scene photos from Fran Docherty and Poudre EA member Rebecca Meikel