Community of Heroes
Residents of La Plata County came forward time and again to meet the challenges presented by the fires. Each person became a hero in his or her own way.
As days turned into weeks, La Plata County fell victim to the fire. Where you are now standing a giant tent city, which served as the incident command center and fire camp, sprang up.
Local businesses gave generously to evacuated homeowners and firefighters even though suffering from the loss of tourism. Firefighters saved dozens of homes even as they were evacuated from their own. County and city officials along with law enforcement agencies did all in their power to keep residents, property, and resources safe. Local, state, and national organizations, along with endless volunteers and contractors, worked tirelessly to provide for those in need.
It is a wonderful tribute to our community that firefighters were heard saying, "We have never been in a town like Durango. The citizens have opened their hearts to us like no other place we have been."
[Photo captions, clockwise from center right, read]
• Over 20 airtankers used the Durango Airtanker Base during
• Devastating aftereffects of the fires became apparent in September 2002, when heavy rain came and severe flooding and debris flows occurred. Once again, our community rallied as residents came forward to meet the challenges and adversity.
• An American Red Cross Disaster Relief Team meets with a property owner.
Erected by La Plata County.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Disasters • Environment.
Location. 37° 17.552′ N, 107° 52.421′ W. Marker is in Durango, Colorado, in La Plata County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Avenue (U.S. 550) and 26th Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Avenue. Marker is on the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2600 Main Avenue, Durango CO 81301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Summer of Flames (here, next to this marker); Seasons of Healing (here, next to this marker); La Plata County Freedom Trees (within shouting distance of this marker); Southern Durango with views of Smelter Mountain (approx. 1.1 miles away); Early Durango circa 1889
Also see . . .
1. Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado (USGS). (Submitted on November 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. The Wildfire Summer of 2002 (Fair & equitable, IAAO, 2005). (Submitted on November 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. 10 years later — Remembering the Missionary Ridge fire (The Journal, 2012). (Submitted on November 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.