The thick billows of smoke from the Cherokee Ranch fire got many residents to start packing even before the mandatory evacuation order came on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 29.
And 16 hours later, the neighborhood was just about back to normal, thanks to the efforts of firefighters and a well-timed wintry blast from Mother Nature.
How many wedding albums and baby books got an airing that night will never be known for sure, but estimates are that up to 12,000 people spent the night away from home. Reports of the Inverness Marriott being sold out have not been confirmed, but it is certain that in this neighborhood full of traveling business people, we are not strangers to hotels. The Red Cross evacuation center at Douglas County High School was sparsely populated, and the generosity of local restaurants and just regular folks ensured that there was plenty of food and supplies. (see related article)
A grateful community presented a proclamation of thanks at the Annual Meeting of the Master Association on November 20. Maureen Shul, Vice President of the Association, read the proclamation to members of the South Metro Fire District who attended the meeting. It acknowledged that the firefighters risked their lives in hazardous conditions to save our homes. A huge red banner proclaiming, “We Will Forever Remember the Day You Saved our Homes from the Fire, ” was presented to the firefighters by the CPN Master Association, along with the Thank You book full of residents’ signatures that have been collected.