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Archpriest Anthony Karbo shared the following on Thursday evening:
News reports: 346 homes destroyed...though surely hundreds more damaged by smoke, etc. By the grace of God, presently only one person reportedly died, but I only saw a headline to that end and no other information on my end.

Did the Supplicatory canon at the temple the last few nights: "protect us by thy precious veil", and spoke about the history of the Theotokos protecting the faithful over the centuries. Providentially, the winds have been calmer, temperatures slightly lower, even cloud cover most of today...enabling those fighting the fire to make significant progress.

In town today, many persons allowed to return home in some of the outlying evac. areas... though many remain displaced, and of those some will certainly be displaced for weeks and months to come. As with any tragedy, the human spirit, instilled in us virtue of God's divine imprint which remains in humanity, begins to shine...and the community is committed to helping one another and rebuilding lives together. "Worst fire in Colorado history", says the headlines, in terms of homes damaged and costs associated. 

Very strange atmosphere, as in one part of town it is the closest thing to Armageddon taking place in our very midst, visible from near any vantage point in town; yet "life goes on...." movies, kids playing at the parks, etc.

Had 12 families displaced...2 from the very worst of the burn areas. NO ONE of the parish lost their homes: even when houses next door and behind them are literally "gone". Still, even their homes may be so severely smoke damaged as to be deemed uninhabitable. Still far too early for those folks to go back to their homes and actually get an assessment. Folks have only this evening been informed of the status of their homes. In addition, two persons reside at a nursing care facility near the fire that had to be completely evacuated, one of which was Mother Seraphima of Holy Protection Monastery.  

One of our members is a forest service fire fighter, and is directly engaged in the continued fight....despite all the good news of today, still only "15% contained".

Agia Sophia was one block away from mandatory evacuation on the south side of the fire. Holy Theophany 1/2 mile away from the mandatory evac. zone...neither place ever was directly in danger.... It is interesting to be a "small business owner" via Agia Sophia, as you get the perspective of lost revenue due to the fire on businesses... particularly small, family owned business who are extremely dependent on daily sales, etc. Agia Sophia has had a tough week, for example... as no one wished to travel to that side of town, getting closer to the fire areas.

We will gather in the morning, pray, partake of the Holy Mysteries on the feast of the Holy Apostles, and give thanks to God for His mercy on us, and on this community.

Many thanks to all who offered prayer and support! We thank God for you all!
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