On Sunday, July 14, 2017, lightening struck and the Sunrise Fire took off down the mountain and then continued to burn throughout several drainages (including Sunrise, Verde Creek, Quartz Creek, and finally into the Trout Creek area), forcing many families to evacuate their homes.
This huge fire had the potential to jump to the Cedar Creek drainage and to threaten the entire town of Superior; however fire fighting personnel were able to hold it to the northwest boundary, that of Trout Creek Road.
I am very impressed and grateful for the job that all those who were involved with the fire did — from the USFS and BLM and supporting agencies all the way down to our local officials.
As an evacuee, the agencies were constantly in touch with us as to the status of our home. Sheriff Tom Bauer even went so far as to call me personally the day that fire activity hit its peak in Trout Creek to assure me that our home was safe, sending a picture of our house with a fire engine sitting in front of it.
Daily coordinating meetings were held at the Superior Fire Hall and I was encouraged to attend. Laurie Johnston, Mineral County Commissioner; Carol Johnson, Superior District Ranger; Roger Hearst, Mineral County Fire Warden, and Rob Torrey, Superior Fire Chief were there every day and took an active part in working with the Incident Teams that managed the fire.
Additionally, I had the personal phone numbers of several of the members of Doug Turman’s Incident Team (Cornie, Andy M., and Roger Goldman) and was encouraged to call whenever I had a concern or a question (and I am sure that the previous and the subsequent teams were every bit as responsive as these guys).
Due to this united and coordinated effort zero structures were lost (and gardens were watered!), there were no major injuries reported, and the fire was (eventually) contained as planned.
Even though this fire was pretty darn bad, it had the potential to be horrific. We owe all those involved our sincere commendation and appreciation for their dedication and service.