State Rep: Thank you to so many for their help, support with Lake Christine Fire (letter) | VailDaily.com

State Rep: Thank you to so many for their help, support with Lake Christine Fire (letter)

I cannot even begin to imagine the sense of anxiety and fear that someone must feel when they are forced to evacuate their home because a fire is raging quickly in their direction. Unfortunately, hundreds of Eagle County families experienced that devastating feeling a few short days ago as the Lake Christine Fire stormed toward the towns of Basalt and El Jebel and the neighborhoods of those towns.

Amazingly, almost all of those homes were saved. Basalt was saved. El Jebel was saved.

As your state representative, I stand ready to assist anyone or any organization with the support they might need from their state government. This fire will continue to burn for some time, and recovering will take even longer. I look forward to helping with that in any way that I can.

However, we should not let this moment pass without expressing gratitude.

To the incredibly brave women and men and their departments who put their lives on the line to fight the fire and literally save our towns, keep the entire Roaring Fork Valley's power intact and prevented catastrophic loss, thank you.

To the Eagle County Sherriff's Office that diligently and effectively communicated information and ensured the public's safety, thank you. To the Eagle County government, the town of Basalt and all the local government employees who brilliantly and quickly coordinated resources, thank you.

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To the volunteers, schools, churches and other organizations that provided and continue to provide food, shelter and resources for first responders and evacuees, thank you.

I had the privilege of attending the rally outside of the command center in El Jebel on Tuesday night (July 10) when nearly 1,000 people from the community showed up to show their gratitude to the firefighters and first responders that saved their homes and towns. To say what I saw was inspiring would be an incredible understatement.

Firefighters, their faces covered in dirt from a long shift, had tears washing that dirt away as they drove through the massive display of love and appreciation. Residents were embracing these firefighters that they do not know but will forever be grateful for in big hugs. High-fives and cheers were ringing for over an hour.

One firefighter from Oregon that I talked to said he had never seen or even heard of anything like that. It is, of course, the least that we all could do to thank them for the miracle they achieved in saving so much. However, the outpouring of love and gratitude that this community showed is a true testament of the amazing place we call home and the remarkable people that make it great.

So, finally, to the citizens of El Jebel, Basalt and the surrounding areas, thank you for showing your gratitude for these amazing men and women in the most amazing and heartwarming way possible. You made them feel like the heroes that they are.

State Rep. Dylan Roberts

House District 26, Eagle County