Boulder Fire: heartbreaking photos by Drew Levin.

Via elephant journal
on Sep 9, 2010
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Shared with permission of my elepal Drew Levin, an amazingly talented (as you’ll see) young man.

Gorgeous photos of a tragic event that burned at least 100 homes to the ground, including homes of three friends and our longtime ele designer, Pam Uhlenkamp. 8000 acres, I think.

Photos by Drew Levin (ask him in comments below for permission to use):


Today, a coworker of mine told me about a woman who came into the store to see if she could wipe her computer.

My coworker asked why, and the woman replied that she was giving it to a friend who had just lost her house in the fire. Amazed, my coworker started in on clearing things off, and while doing so, the woman tells him she also needs a new computer as well. Again, he asks why—the woman had lost her home as well. The person she was giving her computer to was her neighbor who lived a door down on Gold Hill, and the computer was one of the woman’s five remaining worldly possessions.

To give your friend who lost everything a computer is amazing…to give your friend your computer when you just lost your home is utterly phenomenal.

If anyone has specific information about how to help anyone in the community with the fire, please post it below in comments.

Four Mile Canyon Fire, taken last night from Flagstaff.





It rained today in Boulder—blessed, blessed rain. I don’t know how much of an impact it made on the fire—my guess is that it will definitely impede its spreading, but…

Today I also found out that the houses of my middle school math teacher and three of my good friends from high school have burned down, as well as the house another friend grew up in. Many more friends including my godfather have been mandatorily evacuated, and are in danger of being destroyed.

It’s not over yet. Here’s to hoping.


False Dawn

Marvels can come in many forms—it’s a shame that such a beautiful thing as this fire can also destroy so many homes and burn a swathe through so many lives. One man, interviewed by the local paper, said that the canoe he built with his dad when he was sixteen was in the house he narrowly escaped this morning.

Maybe the point of a marvel is to help us value our own lives more—to go back and build or preserve or create on that same level of grandeur.

Four Mile Canyon fire, shot from Flagstaff. Composition and processing inspired in part by antimethod.



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12 Responses to “Boulder Fire: heartbreaking photos by Drew Levin.”

  1. Todd Manley says:

    Just thinking about you all from safely fire-free Minneapolis. I visited Boulder for the first time this summer on the way to Shambhala Mountain Center and thoroughly enjoyed the town, the people and the delightful spirit of the place. And so it is
    wrenching to think of all the difficulties people have gone through since the fire began. I know that we often speak glibbly of the impermanent nature of our lives and everything in it, but those words seem so lame in the face of someone seeing all their lives' possessions reduced to smouldering ashes, the fear and uncertainty and pain must be so overwhelming. So I am just expressing my heartfelt sympathy for all of you right now, and admiration for the ways people are reaching out and helping each other. I hope everyone stays safe in the days ahead, and Bravo to the spirit of Boulderites.

  2. Hannah Kinderlehrer says:

    Boulder County Force Families & Friends,

    As you have heard there are many families who are need of donations as a result of the fires. BCF parents have organized a large network of people who will help distribute donated items to families who need it right now. The Red Cross and United Way are set up to receive financial donations but many of these families need clothes, non-perishable food and even pet food today.

    We ask that all of you receiving this email please consider going through your closets and donate anything you don't wear, go through your kids closets and donate anything they've out grown, go through your kitchen pantries and donate any non-perishable food that you can spare. Pet Food is greatly appreciated!

    Items can be dropped at the following location:

    Rocky Mountain Soccer
    2767 Iris Ave.
    Boulder Co. 80304
    Hours weekdays 10-7
    Sat. 10-5

    *Please have all items bagged (easier to transport)

    Please pass this email on to your friends, families, and co-workers.

  3. […] Some heartbreaking photographs published in sangha-owned online publication Elephant Journal. […]

  4. Randolph says:

    Drew, those are images like I've never seen before. Are these "share-able" , whether via facebook or …… ?

  5. Drew Levin says:

    Randolph – you can always send the link of my flickr page to people, and that would probably be easiest. . I'm glad you like them!

    Forest – I'll put the link and description on the photos.

  6. jess says:

    I've seen them on the homepage of , you can definitely share them with URL's there

  7. Truly amazing and beautiful pictures as well as heartbreaking too knowing the devastation it has caused.

    I would like to Thank Mr. Drew Levin for giving me the opportunity to see the first hand pictures and the reality even though I am thousands and thousands of miles away and across two Oceans.

    Thanx again 🙂

    Diwakar Prasai

    Kathmandu, Nepal.

  8. chela says:

    After living through the Northern California fires in summer of "08 and helping distribute clothing, it is important to remember to donate only clean, non ripped clothes. People do not have washing machines to clean them up, no sewing machines to mend. Do not just drop off that box or all those bags that have been in your garage forever waiting to go to Goodwill. Take a few minutes to "weed" through them and donate what you would like, what you would appreciate. I know folks are well meaning so add less stress to an already stressful situation by weeding out the dirty, old knockoffs before you drive to the donation center. No house stuff, remember they have no house to put things in. That will come later… God Bless you all, and thank you for your distribution efforts!!

  9. Nana Miz says:

    My friend Annette B showed me this link. May I post these photos on my wall also? I'm fortunate to live with a wonderful view of the mountains. This fire reminds me of my parents' comments about the fire bombing during the war. Apparently people were amazed by the beauty of the fires while the city burned. Nana

  10. Shaun Gibson says:

    Hello this Shaun G. from High Country News, we were wanting to use one of Drews photos, does anyone know how to contact him he don't answer his e-mail.

  11. […] Westword, the alternative-yet-huge-popular-bigtime Denver weekly, held their first annual #WebAwards, or Web Awards for you non-tweeting ungeeks, last night in Denver. No business or individual won more than one award—except for and your shameless Waylon Lewis, who took home three awards—and four if you count Drew Levin’s Boulder Fire photos that we were the first news site to feature. […]