A plane flies over the Fourmile Fire as night approaches on the evening of the first day of the fire, Monday, Sept. 6. (CU Independent/Lee Pruitt)
On top of papers, exams, social lives and extra-curriculars, many members of the CU-Boulder community are also coping with being forced out of their homes.
This week has been chaotic for some students. Senior 28-year-old film studies major John Forster, was forced to evacuate his home for the second time in the Boulder Heights neighborhood when police informed residents that high winds caused the area to be in danger again.
“[Getting evacuated] is not a nice feeling,” Forster said. “It’s like a vacation but I can’t go home and I have no food.”
Forster had enough time to gather some belongings before he left his home.
“I took clothes for two weeks, I backed up my hard drive, I brought my text books and video equipment to document everything,” Forster said.
CU has allowed Forster to stay in an open unit in the Bear Creek Apartments until Friday night. He hopes the university will allow him to stay longer.
“Only today have I calmed down enough to go to class,” Forster said.
CU geological sciences professor Joe Smyth lost his Gold Hill home to the fire on Monday before having any time to gather belongings.
“I wasn’t there when the fire broke out,” Smyth said. “There wasn’t anything I could do. I lost everything.”
Smyth is currently staying with friends in Fort Collins while he looks for an apartment in Boulder.
“I feel frustrated but at least I’m healthy,” Smyth said. “It’s just property I lost and insurance can hopefully cover most of it so I can start again.”
Students whose family members are being affected by the fire are feeling stressed as well. Freshman open-option major Sylvia Black, 18, has an aunt and uncle who were evacuated from their home in Boulder Heights.
“It’s really stressful for them because they had to take off work,” Black said. “They didn’t really have much time to get their belongings.”
Black said her aunt and uncle are staying with her mom and dad in Colorado Springs.
“This fire has been a tragedy and so many families have been affected,” Black said. “I hope it gets put out soon so everything can go back to normal.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ashley Ward at Ashley.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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