'I don't know how they did it:' Retirement home looks back on East Troublesome Fire evacuation


ESTES PARK, C.O. – This time last year, Julie Lee was making 'just in case' emergency plans due to the threat of the Cameron Peak Fire, burning several miles from the retirement community where she works.

That's when the East Troublesome Fire made its way over the Continental Divide and changed everything.

"At that time, we didn’t know if we had an hour to evacuate," said Lee the administrator of Good Samaritan Society - Estes Park Village. "As swiftly as that fire moved through Grand Lake and Granby the night before, we didn’t know."

Lee said 16 of the retirees had significant medical needs, posing logistical challenges. She had to evacuate 100 residents in total.

Lee was recognized by the Good Samaritan Society as the "National Administrator of the Year" for how she dealt with the evacuation and the pandemic.

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