Colorado Mountains Ablaze!
DATE-LINE: COLORADO MOUNTAIN AREAS
Some days ago in Waldo Canyon, Colorado, a fire had begun to carve a path from that area toward the Colorado Springs area. And with temperatures ranging between 80 and 110 degrees, the weather has not been cooperative at all in helping the people battling the fires, causing sparks to leap into other areas, causing even more damage. The fire in Waldo Canyon alone has forced the evacuation of 11,000 people, and so far, hasn’t caused any damage to major structures or homes that I’m aware of; I’ll be tracking this on the news sites and relaying information as I get it, but this fire could threaten my position here where I’m living at right now.
It’s been turning into Hell on Earth in Colorado, with an estimated 6 fires blazing through the state, and the photo on the left of the Waldo Canyon fire is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Firefighters have estimated a containment date of 16 July, but with the heat and winds only making things worse, that may not be soon enough. And the fire is only compounding this matter with sparks leaping to other points and beginning new fires in the area.
Western Colorado has been burning for the better portion of a week, and this blaze has already forced the evacuation of 11,000 people, all of which are most likely without a home to go to, despite firefighters’ best efforts to protect those areas.
The smoke and ash could be seen (and in some cases inhaled) as far as Ellicott, Colorado. Things are not looking good for the suburbs northwest of Colorado Springs, and from some recent televised sources, it’s beginning to spread into some heavier fuels. Rampart Ridge seems to be holding off the fires right now, but things can change before too long.
KKTV has been blocking out all programming to cover the blaze, as it’s becoming a threat to the city, as Mountain Shadows and Cedar Heights have already been evacuated, both neighborhoods are on the extreme west side of the city, and although Security is located on the southeast corner, that doesn’t mean that all holy hell will not break loose before 16-July. West US Highway 24 is now closed in both directions, as no one can return to their homes until the fires are contained.
A video feed from KKTV as recently as 10:20 AM on 26 June revealed that homes in the Colorado Springs area on the extreme western edge of the city are in danger, but thankfully they have been evacuated. I am extremely thankful for their coverage of this situation, and plan on keeping tabs on this fire with them to get more information regarding this fire. To the dismay of some viewers, a lot of station programming has been blacked out for the past several days as this fire progressed, but they have been constantly covering this fire from the time it began. Some people can be so damned stupid as to want their regular shows, but thank God for stations that block that stuff out when something like this comes along, keeping the people informed of the situation.
On 26-June, the fire had breached a containment line and moved into western Colorado Springs. The Flying W Ranch, an icon in the city for nearly 60 years, was burned to the ground, and a minimum of 35 homes in the area were destroyed as well. Evacuation orders have been given for every point of the city from as far north as the US Air Force Academy to as far south as Garden of the Gods Road; and that runs to as far east as Interstate 25. This fire has thankfully had no injuries or fatalities as yet, but I’m one to count my blessings. News anchors that have been in the business for 20 years or more are calling this situation “as surreal as it gets.” This is not far from the truth; as the smoke and ash are being seen and felt as far out as Yoder, Colorado, and the fire has been jumping from place to place as the winds kick up. The prayer is that the fire stops before it goes too much further. This fire has destroyed homes and businesses, and is spreading at present.