Guides Lending a Helping Hand

Guides Lending a Helping Hand

High Park Wildfire

300 foot tall flames race up the hill side near Stove Praire Road in the Poudre Canyon.

300 foot tall flames race up the hill side near Stove Praire Road in the Poudre Canyon. Photo taken by Josh Randall.

On June 9th a bolt of lightning started the High Park Fire near Fort Collins, Colorado. Within 24 hours the fire had grown to 10,000 acres. The fire would rage on for three weeks covering 87,284 acres and briefly held the distinction for the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. 257 homes were lost, but more than four times that remain.

The fire spread quickly over the Cache La Poudre river canyon causing Mountain Whitewater Descents to be closed the entire duration of the fire. Most of the employees were out of work, but we did find some temporary work for some of them around Fort Collins and several others were able to help fight the fire by shuttling firefighters across the river.

Josh Randall rows firefighters accross the Poudre river.

Raft Guide Josh Randall rows firefighters across the Poudre river during the HIgh Park fire. Photo taken by Bryan Holman.

We were able to take our guests rafting yesterday for the first time in weeks and the canyon is still spectacular. Pockets of cottonwood stands glow green against hills of blackened pines. Homes surrounded by fire stand majestically erect, showing the work of those 2000 firefighters.

Hillsides of completely burnt trees sit next to untouched ones. Patches of green stand in the patches of black. Patches of black stand in the patches of green. The way fire moves through a canyon can be seen at every bend in the river. Guests and guides alike cheered happily for what remains of this canyon treasure.

Our canyon is still a beautiful, sparkling jewel of Colorado rivers. Still the only “Wild and Scenic” river in Colorado. Still the best!

The Cache la Poudre River canyon after the High Park Fire.

The Poudre Canyon after the High Park Fire, still a beautiful gem. Photo taken by Micah O'gan, Mountain Whitewater Descents.

Guide Bryan Holman waits to ferry fighterfighters.

Guide Bryan Holman waits to ferry fighterfighters back across the river. Photo taken by Josh Randall.

Cass Eriksen guides guests down the Cache la Poudre River.

Cass Eriksen guides guests down the Cache la Poudre River on July 1, 2012. Photo taken by Micah O'gan, Mountain Whitewater Descents.