CONIFER - More than 100 residents were forced to leave their homes Wednesday in front of the encroaching Lime Gulch Fire in Jefferson County. Several other residents were put on a pre-evacuation status as crews try to contain the 500-acre fire.
It's like waiting on pins and needles for families in the path of a wildfire. They know the fire's out there; they can see it and often smell it.
For those who don't know if they will be evacuated, they wait in anguish, at the possibility of losing so much.
The moments are filled with anxiety, when reality sets in, that they may lose their home.
"You like where you live. You like the area. You like the people. This is home," area resident Bob Volzer said.
From the right vantage point, there's wasn't the slightest concern Wednesday for Volzer at his home on Foxton Road in Conifer. But the peaceful afternoon ended abruptly when a plume of black smoke from the Lime Gulch Fire began to show itself.
"We just had a huge black plume of smoke. That's new burn of some sort," Volzer said, as he watched from his front porch.
For Volzer and his wife Lin, their sense of security vanished when they saw the smoke rise.
"That looks bad to me; that looks real bad," Lin Volzer said. "You can tell it just went nuts in the past five minutes."
They were looking south from their home, where they've lived for more than 30 years.
READ: Lime Gulch Fire grows to 500 acres
The property sits north of the North Fork of the Platte River, just a few miles from the evacuation zone of the Lime Gulch Fire.
They don't want to leave, but they are ready.
"We could be out of here in almost 10 minutes if we need to with everything we needed. The cars are ready to be loaded. Everything is at the doors," Volzer said.
That includes medications, important papers and of course their dogs. The Volzers know how quickly fire patterns can change as winds shift or conditions gets worse
"It's a very scary feeling. You just stay alert," he said.
For now, Volzer can remain with his home. He'll watch the fire closely, hoping it keeps its distance.
"Probably won't sleep too well tonight," he said.
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