THE AFTERMATH: WALDO CANYON FIRE IN COLORADO SPRINGS (updated July 1)
Following the evacuation because of the wildfire flare up into the city of Colorado Springs, the evacuation order for my neighborhood has been lifted. This may be temporary, as other neighborhoods this week went from evacuation to pre-evacuation (return), to evacuation again.
Although the burn zone is less than a mile from my house, I returned yesterday to a neighborhood seemingly untouched by the blaze. I have heard from a neighbor that Ute Valley Park, a 344 acre city park behind my house, was touched with two hotspots that were identified by fire spotters and put out.
Meanwhile, President Obama was in town this week to survey this national disaster site, the worst fire in state history. He held his press conference at my neighborhood Fire Station No. 9 on Garden of the Gods Road. As he surveyed the Mountain Shadows neighborhood he commented: “The devastation is enormous… Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family’s who’ve been effected.”
Here’s a rather startling video taken Tuesday evening as the fire exploded into the city, on the edge of my neighborhood along Garden of the Gods Road.
Here are the latest statistics:
- 45% contained
- 15,000 acres (down from 18,000)
- 1,500 first responders involved
- Humidity up, wind down
- 346 homes burned, 35 streets impacted
- Some neighborhoods still closed by evacuation
- 2 found dead, less than a dozen still missing
President Obama closed his press conference with remarks of getting the firefighters everything they need in terms of equipment. He concluded:
“What we can’t bring them is their courage, they have that from the start.”
While I know they don’t think they’re heroes themselves, I do.
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian