Update on the West Fork Wildfires in Southwest Colorado

Unfortunately, the 4UR Ranch had to be evacuated last week because of concerns over the approaching wildfires in our corner of beautiful Southern Colorado. At this point, the ranch and all residents (including those with four legs) are safe. We wanted to let all of you know about what has happened in the last week.

June 20 – A call came down from the Forest Service that we needed to evacuate the ranch. We asked our guests to gather their things and leave as soon as possible. We were able to get the horses to a neighboring pasture, and after gathering some things from the office and ranch housing, our staff made their way to the Christensen’s home in the San Luis Valley.

Smoke makes the air hazy around mine hill, facing Southeast. Photo by Joni Adelman.

Smoke makes the air hazy around mine hill, facing Southeast. Photo by Joni Adelman.

Aaron, Robin & Kathy, and the entire staff had an evacuation plan in place they were able to implement within two hours. 50 guests, 50 horses, 32 staff, seven vehicles loaded with art, archives, computers and sculptures along with three pigs, two goats, and five dogs are all safe. Kudos to our guests, our neighbors, and our friends for their offers of help.

June 21 – Highway 149 between South Fork and Creede closed at 9:00 a.m. South Fork has been evacuated. At this point, the ranch is just getting smoke and the staff and animals are all safe. We are thankful.

June 23 – The 4UR is unharmed. There was a meeting in South Fork at 10:00 a.m. and the highway was open this morning until 11:a.m. Report from the meeting: “Close to 70,000 acres burned. Weather will make [the fires] worse for the next 2 days. Smoke will be worse.”
Aaron and Chef Wray tried to go to the ranch for some supplies but were turned away. Predictions are that the fire will come out at Elk Creek. That is approx. 2-2 1/2 miles up the road from South Fork toward Creede.

June 24 -Kathy was allowed to go into the ranch with a deputy escort. At that time, there was no wind and everything was fine at the 4UR. A team of fireman were at the gate, preparing to go up to Humphrey’s ranch to secure it (the property above ours, where upper  Goose Creek flows from). Afterward, then they were going to move down to 4UR and keep an eye on things there. There has been some road traffic between South Fork & Creede. The Creede locals and merchants are keeping a stiff upper lip. One person said, “If we can make it in January, we can make it through a fire in June.” A sign on another store said, “We’re staying open!” And to show you the real mettle of Creede, Bingo is on tonight as usual.

Southwest Colorado Fire & 4UR Ranch FAQs

What if I have booked a trip to 4UR Ranch this summer?  ~  We are asking incoming guests to “sit tight” – we will be in touch with you soon. Expect a call from Robin to address your reservation.

What has happened to the horses and other livestock?  ~  All of our horses were moved within 2 hours to a pasture on the river half way through town. They are safe and enjoying their new and spacious pasture.

Who is protecting the ranch? How can I help?  ~  Some of the Creede Firemen protecting 4UR include Kathy’s husband and son, Jimmy and Casey. They are both fire fighters. Her son Cody is also helping, he is an EMT.  Karl Kolisch, husband of Francis, who provides fresh flowers for the ranch, is also on the line there, as well as Jessie Albright of the Rincon Realty family in town. We just can’t thank them enough, Kathy and Francis included, for the incredible job they’re doing. Many of you have asked if you could help support the efforts of our firefighters here in Creede. Donations may be sent to the following address and the funds will be distributed accordingly. The community thanks you for your concerns.

Mineral County Fire Protection District
PO Box 298
Creede, CO 81130

While We Wait for the Smoke to Clear…

Here are some pictures from the great kid’s week we had June 8-15.

 

Hay Rides

Hay Rides

Kids Rodeo Champs

Kids Rodeo Champs

Little Buck-a-roo

Little Buck-a-roo

Camp songs

Camp songs

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