Colorado Photography of the American West

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09 April 2011

Crystal Fire in Northern Colorado

Although I am not sure if I have the words to write about our close proximity to this fire, I did want to share my past week with you through my camera lens.

Quick Facts on the Crystal Fire as of April 8, 2011

(from Larimer County Emergency Information)

Fire Start Date: 04/01/2011
Cause: Under Investigation
Fire Size: 3,200 acres
Contained: 55%
Total Personnel: Approximately 398
Additional resources: 5 crews, 4 helicopters, 27 engines
Burned Residences: 15

Redstone Crystal Fire
Crystal Fire in Redstone Canyon
The Crystal Fire though looking tame in this photo taken on Monday
comes to life again on Tuesday with high winds.
(The house at the bottom of the photo belongs to one of our volunteer firefighters and is safe as of this post.)

Crystal Fire Horse
Crystal Fire Horse
A horse grazes near the smoldering mountain pine forest of the Crystal Fire.
(The horse is safe. Valley residents did not have time with this fast moving fire to trailer their horses to a safe location and instead set them free in the open range. The horses run from the fire and are later caught and returned home.)

Crystal Fire BW
Crystal Fire in Black and White
The pilots of these helicopters made numerous trips through the smoke to drop their load of water on the fire's hot spots.

Helicopter Bucket Drop
Helicopter Bucket Drop
A helicopter bucket drop on the Crystal Fire in Redstone Canyon, Colorado.

Helicopter Tanker
Helicopter Tanker
A helicopter tanker flies over my home on its trip from the reservoir to drop its load of water on the Crystal Fire.



  1. Hi Julie,

    You have really captured a wonderful portrayal of a Rocky Mountain fire! It's so devastating, as we know from past fires in our state. As your neighbor in Southern Colorado, I hope the end is in sight soon. And that these darn winds would just stop!

    Take care-Debi

  2. Julie, Your photos convey the eerie foreboding that must arise when you are close to, or in the path of a forest fire. Then when you add on the grieving for all that is lost ... quite an experience. You've really captured it here. Be safe.

  3. Your photos are very dramatic, and the helicopter going right overhead really brings it home.

  4. I'm glad you're safe. I can't imagine being so close to a wildfire, and potentially in its path. Your photos are, as always, fantastic.

  5. Sorry to hear about the fire, I hope everything will get back to normal soon. I keep thinking of those 15 residences destroyed, I think it's awful to loose your house and all your belongings.
    Your photos are extraordinary, very dramatic.

  6. Great photos of the situation there in Colorado. Stay safe!

  7. Thank you all for your well wishes. They are still gaining ground on the fire and all looks better and better. The forecast is rain tomorrow! Thanks again!

  8. great photos again Julie. I can't imagine what it must be like to be so close to a fire like that, it must be a worrying time for you and your family. I hope you get that rain tomorrow!

  9. Been thinking about you glad all is ok

  10. As of Sunday morning the fire is 75% contained. So far so good!! Thanks everyone!

  11. Oh Julie! Your photos are, as always, spectacular, but what a terrible and frightening thing! Those helicopter crews are as brave as they come!

    We're so very happy and relieved that you are safe ... and the horses too. Thank you for sharing your experience and insights with all of us.


Contemporary photography of the cities, landscapes, flora and fauna of the American West.
Julie Magers Soulen Photography