GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The East Troublesome Fire decimated a beloved ranch in Grand County on Wednesday.
The loss of the Winding River Ranch was felt by those who spent time there and those who called it home. That includes Tom Richmond, who worked and lived at the ranch since 2014.
By the time Richmond got to the ranch on Wednesday, he helped load the horses and a donkey to get them to safety.
“I’ve seen a lot of stuff — firefighter for 26 years. I was in the Army National Guard deployed and everything for 25 years. I just really wasn’t prepared for there to be nothing. I thought there would be something left. But there was nothing,” said Richmond.
The family owned ranch was located northwest of Grand Lake. According to the property’s Facebook page, the nine cabins, three barns, kitchen, house and main lodge are all gone. All the animals and those who lived on the ranch made it out OK.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family. On the account’s page, the organizer, Emily Moore, underscored how special the ranch was. The information reads in part:
“Anyone who ever met Granny or Travis left feeling like a member of their family. We are asking for help to rebuild their ranch and Granny’s home. Rebuild the memories of so many who have said their vows, a place to heal and a place where rescue animals could find a forever home.”
The ranch was also used as a wedding venue and as a retreat location for military families.
Richmond is devastated by the loss but will focus on what remains untouched.
“To me, the ranch isn’t gone because the ranch was never the buildings. It was always the land, the river and the people that lived there and had been there and that’s still there. So they won’t lose that,” said Richmond.
For anyone interested in contributing, visit the GoFundMe page.