GRANBY, Colo. (KDVR) — So many families are very aware of the fire danger the high winds in the forecast can bring. That is especially true in places like Grand County, which suffered one of the state’s most devastating wildfires.

The East Troublesome fire taught crews several new things about these kinds of fires. Strong gusts in Grand County on Tuesday stirred up memories of the horrific fire.

Back in 2020, it raced toward Judy Tumblin’s backyard in Granby.

“I’m terrified. I’m absolutely terrified. I’m still having nightmares realizing now that fires can happen anytime,” Tumblin said.

That’s the reason her neighbor Schelley Olson constantly mitigates around her home, especially when there’s high fire danger.

“I absolutely worry. I worry about every fire year now, because no one is immune,” Olson said.

East Troublesome Fire burned nearly 200,000 acres

Olson lost her previous home in the East Troublesome fire. In a twist of fate, Olson was also the Assistant Chief for the Grand Fire Protection District Number One.

“When I first realized what had happened to my home in the East Troublesome fire, I called it the death of a lifetime,” Olson told FOX31.

The East Troublesome fire burned nearly 200,000 acres and reinforced traditional fire prevention techniques. With winds seeming more constant and temperatures warming, firefighters preach evacuation preparedness more than ever before.

“Fire professionals all over the country had not seen this. So when they looked at these conditions, they thought they had more time to evacuate and we learned we did not,” Olson said.

The East Troublesome also showed crews that wildland fires are unusually unpredictable.

“It was like having a wildfire mixed in with a hurricane with a tornado on top,” Olson said.

These are lessons that people who live here hope others understand too. Firefighters also ask people to make sure their homes are adequately insured as Colorado heads into one of the driest times of the year.