Relive Colorado Wildfire Nightmare with a Visit to ‘Troublesome Stories’
A gallery of art and artifacts exists where you can see firsthand the devastation caused by last year's East Troublesome wildfire in Grand Lake, Colorado.
"Troublesome Stories - Art and Artifacts from the East Troublesome Fire" is a free exhibit open to the public now through October 31, 2021.
Backstory on the East Troublesome Fire
The East Troublesome Fire was reported on the afternoon of October 14, 2020. In a matter of days, the fire grew to 10,000 acres. According to InciWeb, by October 17, it became necessary to order the evacuation of 90 homes. Within days, the fire exploded from 18,550 to 187,964 acres. As the fire moved eastward to Grand Lake and Estes Park, over 7,000 structures were threatened, requiring a population of over 35,000 to be placed under a mandatory evacuation.
Why a Public Exhibit?
A free exhibit is now open to the public, sharing art, artifacts, stories, and first-hand accounts of the catastrophe. Why would the residents of Grand Lake want to take on an endeavor such as this? According to the exhibits official webpage:
Grand County is a resilient community, with residents that show up for each other, mourn with each other and help one another rebuild. As we approach our first summer season, we recognize the need for education and kindness in our community, especially when we begin welcoming guests. Unfortunately, many Grand Lake residents lost homes and businesses in this fire, and while they are prepping for a busy summer, they are dreading the curiosity and questions that will inevitably come from travelers. With this at heart, The Grand Lake Chamber has partnered with Thomas Cooper and Studio 8369 to install a temporary exhibit to educate viewers about the personal impact of the fire in our community.
Thomas Cooper was on-site during the October 21 fire, capturing almost 9,000 photos. Forty of his images are included in the exhibit.
Visit the Exhibit
Troublesome Stories: Art and Artifacts from the East Troublesome Fire is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October 31, 2021. Entry to the exhibit is free. Members of the local Chamber and other volunteers are on site.
The exhibit can be found at 315 Pitkin in Grand Lake, Colorado. The trip from Grand Junction to Grand Lake comes in at just shy of four hours, not taking into account any closures or construction on I-70.
This exhibit is planned to continue through October 31, 2021. With that in mind, we have barely two months remaining to visit this awesome project.