5 Years after Black Forest Fire, Danger Looms

When Frances Burke’s children were young, one of them carved “I love Mom” into the hearth of her wood-burning fireplace.

Thirty-some years ago, her kids all denied chiseling the words into the stone. Now, they all take credit.

The message was a permanent fixture in the Burke home, which was tucked in a dense stand of ponderosa pines at the end of a rural road in Black Forest. It was there when they graduated high school, when her son moved to Malaysia for work and when one of her cats turned 20.

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