HolyCoast: Colorado Fire Doubles in Size Overnight

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Colorado Fire Doubles in Size Overnight

Colorado Springs and a number of other beautiful communities are facing disaster:
A three-day-old wildfire erupted with catastrophic fury Tuesday, ripping across the foothills neighborhoods of Colorado Springs, devouring an untold number of homes and sending tens of thousands fleeing to safety in what was shaping up as one of the biggest disasters in state history. "This is a firestorm of epic proportions," said Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown. The Waldo Canyon fire in El Paso County — which had been growing in the forested hills on the city's west side — blew into an inferno late in the afternoon, raging over a ridge toward densely populated neighborhoods.

An apocalyptic plume of smoke covered Colorado's second-largest city as thousands of people forced to evacuate clogged Interstate

25 at rush hour trying to get to their homes or to get out of the way.

By nightfall, roughly 32,000 people left their homes, chased out by the flames.

"We have homes burning right now," El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said shortly before 9 p.m.

The sheriff was among those forced from their homes by the fire.

"This is a very bad day," said Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach.

As the fire continued to grow, all of northwest Colorado Springs was ordered evacuated, including the Air Force Academy.
The pictures I posted last night show a frightening scene, including the fire approaching the Air Force Academy.  It's a very bad situation.  Pray for those folks.  More stunning photos here.


Underdog said...

Appreciate the update once again, Rick.

Overnight, more than 100 homes have been lost to the Waldo Canyon Fire. The homes lost are on former Flying W Ranch property in the northwest part of the city that has been sold and developed on in the intervening decades, especially recently.

The Flying W Ranch itself is burned to the ground. Check the C/S Gazette newspaper's site for current info here: http://www.gazette.com/articles/charred-140903-waking-city.html and for the Flying W Ranch story, go here: http://www.gazette.com/articles/ranch-140885-reportedly-waldo.html

There are no hotel or motel rooms in the Springs as of this writing available. A very few in neighboring Manitou Springs. The Antlers Hotel downtown, itself an historic institution (but not the building due to redevelopment and a new structure for it) resorted to opening its ballroom for guests. 10 people used the ballroom to sleep in as of 11:15 PM last night. They suggested it would be helpful to bring sleeping bags. Never heard that from them before.

32,000 have had to evacuate. Never have heard or seen this before in Colorado Springs. The northwest area of the city from Fillmore Street north through the Air Force Academy is evacuated west of Interstate 25. Concern is for the safety of belongings in the houses evacuated and that the law enforcement folks will be able to keep the belongings safe from burglars.

Let's keep on praying for the people affected in this fire situation, especially for fire personnel and police and sheriff's deputies. They have many long hours of duty left ahead, and need our prayers and support.

Larry said...

And where is Obama during all this? Fundraising for his re-election campaign?

I sure hope the thick smoke from burning homes doesn't interfere with Air Force One's flightpath -it may make Obama a few minutes late to his next $40,000 per plate dinner.

Underdog said...

Actually, speaking of the Campaigner in Chief, he is coming Friday to Colorado Springs to tour the fire damage and to "thank the responders bravely battling the fire." You can bet there will be cameras and microphones. http://www.gazette.com/articles/charred-140903-waking-city.html Please see the 1:26 PM posting for Wednesday, June 27, 2012.