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The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado provided the following update on June 14, 2013

 

Fires Ravaging Colorado for a Second Year

Wildfires have yet again erupted across the state and forced thousands to evacuate.  Reminiscent of last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire, the Black Forest Fire has reportedly already destroyed nearly 400 structures (the most in Colorado history) and officials fear that there may be many people injured. The information is constantly changing.  You may have even seen the plumes of smoke in the southern skies late Tuesday afternoon or smelled smoke in Denver yesterday.

Right now, about 2,300 homes, affecting about 6,400 people, had been evacuated and that 15,000 acres had burned since the blaze began Tuesday with 0% containment.  Record-high temperatures, little humidity and strong winds are making containment efforts difficult.

Additionally, The Royal Gorge Fire has destroyed 20 structures, burned 3,800 acres and forced evacuation of more than 1,000 inmates from "Old Max," the Territorial Prison in Cañon City. It is threatening the iconic Royal Gorge Bridge however it remains intact. The fire is currently 20% contained.

According to officials, the Big Meadows Fire has burned 600 acres and had potential for "extreme" growth, located west of Rocky Mountain National Park. The area of the fire is 70 to 90 percent beetle kill.

A wildfire that erupted Tuesday in rural Huerfano County, the Klikus Fire, has burned an estimated 60 acres west of La Veta, prompting evacuation orders for about 200 residences. It is currently 75% contained.

At this time, the cost of the devastation is inestimable but resources are stretched thin especially after last year’s devastating fires.

Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado has been closely monitoring the situation.

The JCC Ranch Camp has been evacuated and the campers were sent home except for out of state kids, who are being housed with local families. The camp is seeking donations of Target cards for the kids because all of their belongings are stuck at camp.

Our Jewish community responds quickly to crisis.  Please join us today to demonstrate our solidarity and support for all those in need in Colorado. Through our crisis relief structure, Federation has established an easy way for our community to help.

To donate to the 2013 Colorado Fire Relief Fund to help victims, firefighters and other first responders as well as others impacted by the fires, please click here.

100% of all the donations will go to directly combat the fire and help victims. There will be no administrative fees.

The 2013 Colorado Fire Relief Fund will support Jewish and non-Jewish families affected by the fires by providing services including: emergency financial assistance, counseling services, and family services as well as supporting first responders to combat the fires.

While we will keep you updated, you can stay up to date on the fires and needs through this Facebook page or check the 9news Wildfire Resource Center.
Click here to see the evacuation map. The list of homes lost can be seen here. We will send you updated emails to keep you apprised of the situation and of other relief efforts, as information becomes available.

I can only imagine the sadness and uncertainty of losing my belongings as well as not knowing where to rest my head at night. With your support, our Jewish community can offer some comfort to those families who are struggling.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Sincerely,


Doug Seserman
President and CEO
Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado