WILDFIRE IN COLORADO SPRINGS
It is said that all politics is local. Perhaps all history is personal.
Wildfire exploded into the city of Colorado Springs late yesterday. The wind changed and doubled in speed to 65 MPH and moved down the mountain side from the national forest above breaking through two contingency lines that firefighters had set for the fire that has been blazing since Saturday.
We are under mandatory evacuation along with most of the western part of Colorado Springs, including up into the Air Force Academy. My office is under evacuation as well. The fire line is within a mile of my house.
We made a final trip home to collect last things yesterday afternoon and got out just before gridlock. We’re safe across town.
The governor has visited, federal disaster area declared, fire support requested from north and south. Some subdivisions have been burned, others continue to burn. I could see a dozen hotspots ablaze across town last night, pictured above. It will be several days before we know if or when we can return to our neighborhood. The fire is not expected to be contained for 3-4 weeks.
As of this writing:
- 32,000 evacuated
- 20,000 homes
- 160 commercial structures
- Gas and electrical shut off
- 15,000 acres involved
- 5% contained
- 800 firefighters
- Helicopters, fixed wing planes, C-130 transports
- All westbound traffic closed
You can see my updates and pictures at twitter.com/billpetro
Twitter tag is #WaldoCanyonFire
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian