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Update: 9:30 PM
Monument Pre-Evacuation Notice Lifted.
Based upon information obtained from the Incident Command Center in reference to the Waldo Canyon fire, Tri-Lakes Emergency Services agencies are lifting the pre-evacuation notice that had been in effect for areas of the Town of Monument, the Town of Palmer Lake, as well as areas of unincorporated El Paso County, that lie west of I-25, north of the Air Force Academy, and south of County Line Rd.
We ask that all residents remain cognizant of the current fire situation and continue to monitor events as they unfold. This can be done by watching the continuing news coverage of the event provided by local news stations.
AS OF 4PM, JUNE 30, MANDATORY EVACUATION FOR TELLER COUNTY & CITY OF WOODLAND PARK HAS BEEN LIFTED. THE ENTIRE CITY OF WOODLAND PARK NOW ON STANDBY EVACUATION STATUS.
4pm Press Briefing, UCCS (Posted at 5pm)
Greg Heule, Public Info Officer Waldo Canyon Fire: Eight speakers.
Steve Cox, Member Executive Committee for Mayor Bach: “Mayor is out visiting evac centers. We have a plan now for residents of Mt Shadows and their visit. Tomorrow, check-in process begins at 10am. Access time is from 10am-6pm. Only residents that live within 30th street on the south, Centennial on the east and Flying W Ranch to north will be allowed access. You can get into your homes, unless you’re home has burned. Homes with barrier tape around them will not be accessible. No sifting through debris. www.springsgov.com. There will be north and south division check-ins. North division: People that live on Chuckwagon road, south of Flying W Ranch road, west of Centennial Blvd will check-in at the Eagleview Middle School at 1325 Vindicator Drive. South division: South of Chuckwagon Road, North of 30th Street, west of Centennial Blvd, will check in at the Verizon Bldg at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road. Again, they’ll need some proof that you should be in there. Concerns about food in refrigerators. The will be some way to dispose of that tomorrow. Please use your trashcans, get them to the curb, and we’ll arrange a way to dispose of that. Safety personnel will be in the area. Feel free to ask them questions.”
Pete Carey, CSDP Police Chief: “Re: missing persons. They’ve checked their databases of missing persons and people that refused to leave their homes. As of now, and after a primary and secondary search of destroyed homes, he feels pretty confident that there are no more missing people. PD has spoken to all the people that were on the missing list, in person and at UCCS meeting. Many people did register at www.springsgov.com. So far fatalies for this incident are two.”
Amy Lathen, El Paso County Commissioner Chair: “Happy with the Disaster Recovery Center. Designed to connect people with needs with agencies that can help–gov’t and private. Working to get people medicines they need. Regional building dept is there. Pikes Peak Behavior Health and veterans services available. United Way. All insurance companies. Colorado Springs utilities. Aspen Pointe, Red Cross, Goodwill, Peak Vista, and may more. AT&T, Verizon, Century Link… all there. Regional Wal-Mart donated $100,000 to the cause. Verizon setup internet linked center stations. 105 North Spruce. Open 9am-7pm, except July 4th, when open from 9am-1pm. 400 people have used the service so far.”
Deanne Crisswell, FEMA region 8: “The president has announced that he has declared a major disaster for El Paso and Larimer counties. FEMA can bring more assistance and funds. FEMA is working with state and local partners. Disaster unemployment assistance and counseling available.”
Terry Maketa, Sheriff El Paso County: “Ute Pass area still evacuated. They’re working diligently to return people in Ute Pass area to their homes. If all goes to plan, Green Mtn Falls, Crystola and Cascade residents can return home tomorrow. Gas services still need to be restored to the area, which could still cause a delay in returning home. Some power line poles destroyed in the fire and still need to be replaced. There is also an invasion of bears in Green Mountain Falls. They’re working with Dept of Wildlife to get bears out of the area. Working to get dumpsters in the area for returning residents. Only residents can use Highway 24 for a limited time. More info tomorrow. We still have fire on the mountain. Don’t forget that area is still on pre-evac notice. There is still an active fire. Stay prepared until pre-evac notice is over. There will be one lane for the return. You’ll need proof to get in the area–ID. Still need to restore electricity in the area. Also, in touch with Teller County sheriff and at 4 o’clock today, Woodland Park evacuated area can return home. Does not include unincorporated part of the county. People stuck in Colorado Springs still can’t use Hwy 24 to return home at this point. There will be further updates tomorrow at 8am press conference. Thanks for your patient; this is a difficult time.”
Jerry Forte, CEO Colorado Springs Utilities: “Please stop by CS Utilities table at the disaster center. He just returned from Perigrine, where a number of CS Utilies crews are working. They’re in the process of turning off water pipes at destroyed homes. Also working to restore power in Mt. Shadows to about 992 customers in that area. Replacing lines and transformers. Crews working all night. As folks return to Mt. Shadows, there will be crews everywhere. Please stay clear of crews. As you return home, you might find a note on your door explaining the next step in utility restoration. Gas service won’t be active right now. It might take a few days to get everything running. Not sure of status of gas mains in Peregrine. Multiple crews will be working to restore utilities. ”
Amy Lathen, County: “Diaster recovery Center has been inundated with requests to help and bring in supplies. Please do not bring supplies to the Incident Command post at Holmes Middle School. If you want to contribute food, go through Care and Share for distribution. 719-520-6540 or 719-238-6557 to get info on what you can bring.”
Jerri Marr, USFS: “If you are young person, and your home was destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire, please send Smokey an email email@example.com. Back to fire. Columns of fire are interior islands burning. Weather has been more cooperative. As a result of cloud cover, crews made really good strides. Containment of the fire is now at 45%. Rich Harvey will share more….”
Rich Harvey, Incident Commander: “Good day today. Lost no additional acres or structures. No injuries to firefighters. 45% containment. Line above Cascade held. Area to west of Rampart Reservoir held. Spot fires didn’t move. Area along Monument Creek did not move and hot shot crews are approaching the area from both directions. Still working near Blodgett Peak. Still focused on protecting Peregrine. Near Air Force Academy, contingency lines and all the work has stopped the fire from moving into that direction. Not a lot more to share. Crews made good progress all around the fire. Crews continue to optimistic. The remain focused on the fire and focused on the safety of the firefighters and the public. Cost of Waldo Canyon Fire is 8.8 million dollars so far.”
Questions: “How about the spot by Cave of the Winds?” Rich Harvey: “It didn’t move, still working on it. It’s still high on the priority list.”
“When will the next neighborhood be taken off evac status?” Rich Harvey: “Working with local authorities.” Brett Waters: “Right now they’re not comfortable releasing information. It’s a matter of fire behavior. 10,000 people evacuated still”
“What about weather for the next 24 hours?” Greg Heule: “Sunday and Monday, continued warm dry and unstable. Nighttime humidity will increase. 15-20 mph winds… which is not bad.”
“Concerned about a repeat of Tuesday?” Rich Harvey: “Of course we’re concerned. Conditions haven’t changed. Fuels are still abundant. Fact of the matter, there is still a danger of fire. Fire potential is still there and could become extreme. He’s telling authorities to err on the side of caution.”
There will be only one briefing tomorrow at 8AM; no meeting at 4pm.
Update: 12:55 PM
For information regarding the Barr Camp, visit this page.
The Woodland Park mayor says there will be no change in the evacuation status today (Gazette). Also, the Colorado Springs Police Department confirms 22 burglaries and attempted burglaries in evacuation zones since the beginning of the Waldo Canyon Fire. One arrest has been made and police are actively working these cases.
Updated: 10:45 am
El Paso County Disaster Recovery Center Now Open
Colorado Springs, CO, June 29, 2012 – El Paso County will open a Disaster Recovery Center designed to bring together the resources of multiple non-profit and governmental agencies offering assistance to all El Paso County residents impacted by the Waldo Canyon fire. The county has been working with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Division of Emergency Management to provide a central location where residents can access services ranging from assistance in filing insurance claims to grief counseling and rebuilding as our community begins to work toward recovery from this tragic event.
The Disaster Recovery Center will be located at the former El Paso County Department of Human Services building at 105 North Spruce Street. It will be open to citizens at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 30, 2012 and will be open 7 days a week from 9am to 7pm.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) is providing assistance in establishing the Disaster Recovery Center. From 30 years of experience in managing disasters, DOLA has learned the value of offering a central location where residents can access their insurance companies and get information from groups such as:
• Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
• Goodwill Industries
• El Paso County Housing Authority
• Care and Share Food Bank
• El Paso County Public Health
• El Paso County Veterans Services
• Pikes Peak United Way
• Peak Vista Community Health Centers
• Colorado Springs Utilities
• Colorado Springs Human Resources
• Pikes Peak Workforce Center
• Colorado Division of Unemployment
• Colorado Division of Local Affairs
• El Paso County Department of Human Services
• Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management
• Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association
• Safeco Insurance
• Office of the Colorado Insurance Commissioner
To call the Disaster Recovery Information call 719-444-8300 or go to
For other questions related to the Waldo Canyon Fire Call the Waldo Canyon Fire Information Center at: 720-237-3417 or 720-237-9947.
8AM Press Briefing, UCCS, posted 8:45am
Greg Heule, Public Information Officer for the Waldo Canyon Fire: Today, seven speakers.
Steve Cox, Mayor Bach’s Executive Team: “About the tour of Cedar Heights for the media, Mayor Bach was not aware that that was happening. Senior staff was not aware. We assure that won’t happen again. By 4pm, a plan will be in place to give people access to their homes.”
Brett Waters, Emergency Management Director, City of Colorado Springs: “A couple things to note. Significant amount of evacuations have been lifted. 10,000 residents are still under mandatory evacuation. Grateful for cooperation with El Paso County. At 9am at 105 N Spruce Street, the Disaster Recovery Center is opening. Shelters at Cheyenne Mountain HS and YMCA are still open. Also, www.springsgov.com is a good place to get info. If you want to help go to www.redcross.com, also www.helpcoloradonow.com.”
Pete Carey, Police Chief Colorado Springs: “National guard will deploy with CSPD starting tonight. National Guardsmen coming from the 193rd Military Police Battalion from Denver, 1-157th Infantry in Colorado Springs, and 140th Security Squad from Buckley Air Force Base. Total of 160 officers available. Grateful for the help with traffic and roving patrols. CSPD’s hope is to return services to other parts of the city.”
Jerry Forte, CEO Springs Utilities: “Update on utility restoration efforts. Today is the first full day of restoration efforts. They will work from 8am-6pm. They hope to restore electricity in Mt. Shadows. Also, they hope to be able to turn off the water at destroyed homes. Employees are going through Perigrine area to start restoring gas service. When utilities employees come through the neighborhood, they’ll turn off your gas, then test main gas lines, then turn your gas back on and help you with lighting pilots. Safety is paramount. They’re working hard to get you back in your homes safely.”
Ron Perry, US Postal Service: “If you live in Cedar Heights, your mail service is back to normal. In Rockrimmon, they’re making all the deliveries that they can, though there are still evacuation areas in Rockrimmon. For questions, contact 719-266-8216. Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls mail is still available at the Divide post office. In Cascade, mail is available at the West End Retail Unit, as it has been all week. Thanks for your patience.”
Jerry Marr, Forest Supervisor for the Pike San Isabel Forest and The Cimmaron and Comanche National Grasslands: “Children can get care packages from Smokey the Bear by calling 719-520-6771. Many burning operations were going on yesterday. Today, containment numbers have gone up to 30%. It’s warmer today. Today is the test day to see if lines are holding.”
Rich Harvey, Incident Commander: “The fire is moving in a favorable direction. Containment is 30%. Weather will get bad today for fire. T-Storms cause unpredictable wind. 1,300 firefighters are working on the fire. Today is a big test day. Testing lines of containment. Areas of concern include the line above Cascade from Rampart Range Road to Hwy 24. The fire is contained near Rampart Reservoir. Still working a spot fire north of Rampart Reservoir. Little spot fires east of Rampart Reservoir have been contained. Hwy 24 is looking good, except for a spot above Williams Canyon/Cave of the Winds that is unreachable on foot. Area is being pummeled with water drops. Still working a line next to Mounment Creek, but they haven’t been able to put foot troops in the area due to terrain. They’re working the Monument Creek area from the air–this is the northern edge of the fire. Hot Shots from Vandenburg Air Base are trying to get into the area and establish containment there. An area of concern is east of Rampart Reservoir where they haven’t been able to get troops in to fight the fire. Today, they plan to put troops in that area. Today, in order the secure a fire line, they will be burning areas near Blodgett Peak, designed to secure containment lines. They’ll start these burns this morning. They’re working with the City of Colorado Springs to evaluate evacuations.”