BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — In the foothills north of Boulder, charred trees dot the landscape as far as the eye can see, a constant reminder of what happened here one year ago.
The Calwood Fire officially ignited one year ago Sunday, with the October fire ultimately burning more than 10,000 acres and destroying more than 20 homes.
But some of those charred trees are about to serve a new life as beautiful, hand-painted benches.
“It’s kind of fun to see how everyone puts their own stamp on the same thing,” Rick Dallago said.
Dallago is one of a few dozen artists who created the benches, which are being auctioned off to raise money for the Cal-Wood Education Center and to prevent wildfires at Chautauqua Park.
Inside the trees, ‘the wood is still beautiful’
“When you have a fire, you lose a lot of the trees,” Rafael Salgado said. “But this was a really fast-moving fire, so it didn’t really burn the inside of the trees.”
Salgado is the executive director of the Cal-Wood Education Center, a nonprofit aimed at connecting Colorado kids to the mountains.
Roughly half of the center’s 1,200 acres burned during the fire, but Salgado said his team quickly noticed something about the trees.
“It killed them, but the inside of the trees, the wood is still beautiful,” he said.
So they cut some down and turned them into benches, giving Colorado artists a chance to put their own spin on a design.
“Fire restoration takes a lot of money,” Salgado said. “So we hope people will support us.”
Bids start at $500, and the auction runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.