Two months later, the community and fire crews themselves are coming together to help on another.
The 17th Annual Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction will be held this year. All benefits going to the Rist Canyon Fire Department. The Art Auction is an annual benefit, but this year is a little different with all proceeds going to firefighters affected by the High Park Fire.
"When I was there, I was just overwhelmed by the size of the smoke columns. It was very surreal. There were literally hundreds of people in Bingham Hill, people just in awe of the spectacular scene," artist Dave Santillanes said.
Rist Canyon is a volunteer firefighter, and many people don't realize that means they do not receive a revenue stream from property-tax mills like other area fire departments and districts.
"There are people who are having trouble with their insurance," auction organizer Wes Rutt said. "We have 30 volunteer firefighters. Eight of them lost their homes, and a few of them lost even more than that. They lost their businesses, too."
Many people recall the wolf sanctuary that made headlines during the wildfire outbreak. The sanctuary is based in Bellvue and was very close in proximity to the High Park Fire. Firefighters and sanctuary volunteers were able to evacuate the and save all of the wolves. That is something they say made a lasting impression on them.
"It wasn't just the people we got evacuated but all the wolves that were up there were stressed as well," Rutt said.
Original works from more than 100 artists will be auctioned off on Sept. 2. All proceeds will go to the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department and firefighters. The auction will take place in Rist Canyon which is just west of Bellvue. The auction begins at 1 p.m.
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