I have been in Fort Collins, Colorado for the past four days attending my 35th high school reunion. Although part of the planning committee, it was touch and go as to whether or not I could even attend, as the High Park Fire (which has scorched over 55,000 acres and destroyed 181 homes since June 9th) is burning with abandon in the mountains just north and west of my home town.
I delayed my arrival by two days, and came armed with two N95 filtration masks and a portable hepa air purifier. I’ve had a wonderful time and the air quality has been manageable until today, when strong winds out of the west stoked the fire and drove a hazy cloud of smoke and ash over town. My son August (who lives and works in Fort Collins) took this photo several hours ago: