The 2002 North Boulder Fire - view from Alek's Roof! ;-)

I was playing cards at a neighbors the evening of Friday, July 19th, 2002 and was walking home shortly after 1:00AM. I noticed that the lights of North Boulder seemed a bit brighter than normal ... and shortly realized that it seemed to be pretty localized ... and as I came up the hill, I could see orange - this must be the Lee Hill fire that JimT had gotten a call about a few hours later.

Wendy woke up when I got home ... and from our bedroom/porch, we could only see the tops of the orange from North Boulder. Wanting to see more, I grabbed my camera, binoc's, and a flashlight ... and headed up on top of the roof. While not exactly sober (but not THAT tipsy), I had to hoist myself to the upper roof level ... so I placed my my camera (in the soft case) on the roof ... and it took a roll ... and then another roll ... and then flump, flump, flump all the way down and off the roof - DOOPPPP!!!!! So I had to make up some excuse to Wendy why I had to go outside (before attempting this again MORE carefully) and waited until the next day to tell her what had actually happened! ;-)

These pictures (the camera survived) won't win any Pultizer Prizes ... the only significance is they were shot from my roof by my not-so-steady hands. Exposure times were a full (hand-held) second, so that plus the 400 ISO settings results in a fair amount of noise and fuzziness of the Lee Hill fire.

North Boulder is 10+ miles to the West (we live in Lafayette at 95th & Arapahoe) and the Lee Hill Fire was a small one compared to the really bad ones we have had in Colorado so far this year. But the first time I've seen one live ... and it was kinda spooky. Fortunately, this one was brought under control quickly with no one hurt and no houses damaged.

2003_10_29 Update: Just before Halloween, there was another fire that I got some pictures of from my house - fortunately, this one was far away also, but hopefully this isn't the start of an annual trend. Check out the Jamestown Colorado Fire.

My backyard fence can be dimly seen in the lower left part of the image. The rectangular "window" is my neighbors house - they probably saw some guy with a flashlight stumbling on the roof and wondered what that was about! Remember, the North Boulder fire is 10+ miles away.

North Boulder Fire 1

Crop and "zoom" in a bit on the Lee Hill fire.

North Boulder Fire 2

Best we can do with 4 mega-pixels, 3X optical zoom, and a not-so-steady hand-held 1 second exposure.

North Boulder Fire 4