Last year at this time I wrote about the Waldo Canyon Fire and its aftermath in the Colorado Springs area. This year, wildfire has hit Colorado again. As I write this there are 5 large wildfires burning throughout central Colorado. The worst is the Black Forest Fire, just a few miles north of my home in Colorado Springs. While my residence is in no present danger, as it was last year, many of my friends have been evacuated from the Black Forest area. Smoke from the fire has created a haze over Colorado Springs along with the smell of smoke.
High temperatures, winds and low humidity are factors fueling the fire. A number of homes and structures have been lost to the fire already. The Fort Carson Army Base Fire Department are supporting airdrop firefighting efforts in Black Forest. The Air Force Academy is providing personnel to the Incident Management team along with firefighters and fire trucks, as well as airfield support for helicopters. Air Force reservists will fly fire fighting system-equipped C-130s with crews from the 302nd Airlift Wing out of local Peterson Air Force Base. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced Fire Management Assistance for this fire and another in the Royal Gorge. The Sheriff has imposed Stage I fire restrictions for the county.
As of this writing:
- 8,000 acres burned
- 3,000 homes evacuated
- 100-foot high flames
- Many roads closed
- 0% contained
Current evacuation areas are visible here.
You can follow this on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #blackforestfire
As I posted last year, and it is even more relevant now: while I know they don’t think they’re heroes themselves, I do.
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian