The family called it “our land.”

Buckhorn Canyon, west of Fort Collins, is where the Arguellos would come every summer in their camping trailers to celebrate birthdays or just relax in nature for a long weekend. It was therapy, a place uninterrupted by phones or city life.

This past weekend, they returned to camp for the first time since the Cameron Peak fire torched more than 200,000 acres throughout the canyon and surrounding forest two years ago.

On Friday night, however, torrential rain swept through the canyon. The flash flood stormed through the burn scar, washing away the Arguellos’ trailer. The flooding killed 12-year-old Liliana Arguello and her mother Lisa Schilling, a family member confirmed Monday afternoon.

“This is very tragic and devastating for our family,” Annette Vasquez, Liliana’s aunt and Schilling’s sister-in-law, told The Denver Post.

Arguello was about to begin eighth grade at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, Vasquez wrote in a GoFundMe fundraising campaign posted Monday. She loved singer Billie Eilish, being on the swim team and participating in choir. She drew, sang and played piano and ukulele. Arguello was just days shy of her 13th birthday.

“Lily had so much life to live and so many more lives to touch,” Vasquez wrote.

Schilling taught four grade for Jeffco Public Schools, her sister-in-law said.

“Teaching was her passion; she loved her students and loved the work she did,” Vasquez wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Lisa was a kind-hearted person who always saw the positive in life.”

After two years, the family had eagerly returned Wednesday to Buckhorn Canyon, where they resumed all the activities that made this place special, Vasquez wrote: playing games, cooking hiking and working around camp.

“It was what we needed!!!” Vasquez wrote.

The rain came Friday afternoon. It rained so much, so quickly that the creek was noticeably higher, Vasquez wrote. Then the rain passed. But soon after, Vasquez said they heard a “loud rumble of a cracking sound.”

They looked up to see a “mountain of trees, rocks, mud and water rushing toward us,” she wrote.

The trailer in which Schilling, Arguello and two dogs were sitting was swept up in the flash flood, Vasquez said. She and her brother, father and son were rescued from the mountainside later that evening.

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Source:: The Denver Post – News


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