Boulder County CO – Fire – Memories – Insights

Boulder County Fire One of the 991 homes destroyed in the recent Boulder-Marshall fire was the one we built in 1967-8 out in Boulder County on 7225 Empire Dr. Nearly 1,000 Boulder County Colorado residences were driven from their homes last week by this  terrifying wildfire that destroyed their homes.  Boulder County was our home for 32 years while I was employed by the US National Bureau of Standards (now NIST).  I was so sad to learn that the home we built there was destroyed as a result of this recent horrific fire storm — we have so many found memories there.

 Numerous Memories of the Boulder Area

We moved to Boulder in 1960 to do graduate work at the University of Colorado. Boulder is basically where we raised our family until I retired from NIST in 1992.  Just before we moved in 1992, our fourth daughter, Celeste’s and her husband Kevn Lambson celebrated their marriage and had their wedding reception at the home we had  built there.  And in 1984, our oldest daughter Shelli married Bruce Owen, and we held their reception there as well. (There are too many other wonderful memories to make an accounting here.)  We moved to Fountain Green, Utah, in 1992, when I retired from the government.

Good Friends in Boulder

I became good friends with three wonderful men: Dr. Grant Athay, who was our first bishop when we moved to Boulder in 1960. Gail Loveless, who sold us two acres of prime land for which we extended the road, Empire Drive, and built there in 1967. And, Mike Crawford, who built his home next door to us to the north, and was one of my counselors in the bishopric. (Both Grant and Gail had already built their homes in the country on Paragon Drive, and were our wonderful neighbors.)

Building A New Home In Boulder

In 1967, we borrowed $26k from my folks to buy the construction materials to build our home. We bought more than 600 small seedling trees from the Forest Service in Fort Collins and planted them.  Eventually, we had a virtual forest around our place. It was a wonderful home for our growing family.

Our Frightening Wind Experience In Boulder

Just a year after we built our home, the wind blew off part of our roof in January 1969.
The four of us, Grant, Gail, Mike, and I, had just returned from tying down the roof of Mike’s back porch to a pickup truck to keep it from blowing off, when my roof showed signs of departure, as the heavy winds would lift up the edge of it.

Two were holding the ladder, and one was holding me on the ladder as I was trying to keep the roof nailed down.  Sounding like a freight train, the wind ripped off most of the south side of the roof from our home and laid it up-side-down on our east lawn, after going over the top of our Jeep Wagoner!  It was a horrific sound and a scary experience.  Our family spent the rest of that night in our basement, listening to the horrible sounds, as the wind hammered our home.  Winds up to 140 mph were clocked that night.  Boulder looked like Armageddon that night and a fireman died.

2021-22 Wind and Fire Tragedy in Boulder, Colorado

Someone said this fire looked like Armageddon!  Driven by 115 mph winds, the fire was uncontrollable.  The Boulder area is notorious for high winter winds.  It seems that during the winter, from time-to-time, the jet stream dips down over the continental divide and brings devastating winds to that area.  Velocities as high as 200 mph have been recorded.  In one instance, a railroad car was blown over.

I pray for all those affected by this horrible wind-firestorm.  The Beck’s, who bought our home, are a wonderful family.  You can imagine the tragic loss suffered by so many — having to leave their homes immediately because of this rapidly advancing firestorm. One wonders why the Lord allows bad things to happen to good people; that is one of the hard questions of life.  I discuss that in detail in Chapter 2 of my book, “It’s About Time”.

Moving to Fountain Green, Utah in 1992

I had an opportunity to retire early, and we felt the need to be closer to my aged parents in Mapleton, Utah.  After thirty-two years of living in Boulder, we sold our home along with five more acres we had bought from Gail for a half million.  That was just enough to build our “all-solar home” in Fountain Green, UT, in 1992-3 and stay out of dept. If you Google my name, David W. Allan, and “solar home,” you will find a full description of our full solar home that keeps us toasty warm when the sun is shining without a furnace and cool in the summer.

On The Other Side of it All

I am reminded of the Lord’s “East-wind,” which opened up the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through, and then destroyed the Pharaoh’s army of chariots as they pursued.  We know the “East-wind” will occur again as part of the latter-day purging.  The most important thing we can do is to trust in the Lord.  As my wife succinctly says, “If you are right with the Lord, you are right!”  The Lord prophesies, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matt. 24:40-41; Luke 17:35-36)

Given the prophesied purging ahead, the best thing we can do is to be Christ-centered in all we do, think, and say.  On the other side of it all is Christ’s glorious reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.  After which, He will deliver His Kingdom to the Father for all who will partake of celestial realms of glory after the millennial epoch.  We will see unfold Heavenly Father’s perfect plan of happiness in spite of all the ugliness caused by Satan and his minions.  We don’t know when we will be tested but be assured, we will individually be challenged. However, the Lord knows how to turn every evil into good. We must be willing to bear all things and be patient — fully repent of all our sins and fully inculcate the Lord and His gospel in our lives.  The Lord has said, “…all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.  The Son of Man hath descended below them all.  Art thou greater than he?… if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.” (D&C 122:7-8; 121:8)

You can see the details of the Boulder-Marshall-fire at the following link: Map of homes destroyed, damaged in Marshall fire (

David W. Allan (4 January 2022)