How do you manage a wildfire that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before? In 2020 when the two largest wildfires in Colorado history surrounded the town of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park’s Fire Management Officer, Mike Lewelling, relied on twenty years of planning and fire treatments in Rocky along with a dream team of multiple fire agencies and our very own Alpine Hotshots crew to help save the town from burning.
However, those two things alone wouldn’t have saved Estes Park from the fast moving East Troublesome Fire. It was a rare weather event on the morning of October 22, 2020 that ultimately kept the fire from entering town, and it reminded Lewelling of a quote he once read from renowned chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur. “Chance favors the prepared mind.”