Update: 9:34 PM

Cost to date to fight the fire: $11,102,837. 1500+ personnel still on scene. (Inciweb)

Updated Mountain Shadow Evacuation Information

Mandatory Evacuation status remains in place for Mountain Shadows from south of Wolfe Ranch Rd. and west of Flying W Ranch Rd. to 30th St., and for the following streets east of Flying W Ranch Road:
Capra Way,
Centauri Rd,
Chambrey Ct,
Champagne Dr,
Chase Point Cir,
Darien Way,
Eileen Ct,
Granby Cir,
Green Valley Hts,
Holister Ct,
Hot Springs Ct,
Huffman Ct,
Lions Gate Ln,
Majestic Dr,
Mirror Lake Ct,
Ramsgate Ter,
Regal View Ct,
Regal View Rd,
Russett Oak Ct,
Vanreen Dr,
Vantage Ridge Ct,
Vantage Vista Dr,
Via Verona Vw,
Wilson Rd,
Chuckwagon Road commencing 500 feet west of Claystone Lane and extending westward to the city limit.


Update: 6:10 PM

Containment number is now 55%, per Inciweb.


Update 2:45 pm

Per the El Paso Sheriff’s Office: evacuations for Loy Creek Road have been lifted.

Audio from the 2PM press briefing:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

City’s press release as follows:

Several areas have mandatory evacuation order lifted; still remain in pre-evacuation notice
The following evacuation areas are being downgraded to pre-evacuation status effective at 8 p.m. tonight, and residents may return to their homes and businesses may resume operations (see attached map):

· Oak Valley Ranch
· Pinon Valley
· Peregrine
· Grand Centennial Apartments
· All businesses along Centennial and 30th

Centennial Boulevard will also re-open at 8 p.m.

Mountain Shadows (from south of Wolfe Ranch Rd. and west of Flying W Ranch Rd to 30th St.) remains under Mandatory Evacuation status.

Most of today’s returning residents will have electric and water at their homes, but they will not have gas. Please carefully review and follow any notices left on your property. For questions about Utilities refer to www.csu.org or call (719) 448-4800.


Update 11:30 am

Updated information from Colorado Springs Utilities:

Waldo Canyon Fire update – 11 a.m., July 1

General

Our crews have made significant progress. From a Colorado Springs Utilities perspective, we are ready to accept customers back into their homes in all areas, except the Mountain Shadows neighborhood west of Centennial. However, customers returning to their homes in the coming days will not have natural gas service. See below for details. We must operate at the direction and discretion of Incident Command.

Electric

75 percent restoration in Mountain Shadows, planning for complete restoration today
Pole replacement in Cascade and Glen Eyrie underway

Water

Water quality tests have been performed in areas where you are being allowed to return home and the water is safe to drink.

If you’re just returning home from an evacuation, please allow water to run from a sprinkler or hose for five minutes to clear sediment and air from the water lines.

Due to extreme drought conditions and the fire, water use in the community is high. We encourage customers to use water wisely.

Natural Gas

Since yesterday, we’ve had more than 100 employees going house to house in the Peregrine and Oak Valley Ranch areas to ensure gas system safety.

We isolated natural gas service to every individual property yesterday (6/30) — more than 3,000 meters in all.

We’re energizing gas mains, checking for leaks and making necessary repairs today (in Peregrine and Oak Valley Ranch).

If you live in these areas and are allowed to return home soon, we’ll need to meet with you to conduct safety checks, light pilot lights and turn on meters. You must be present for this process. A flyer is posted on your door with instructions.

Natural gas restoration is labor intensive and may take several days, but residents will be allowed back into their homes without gas service.

Mutual aide from neighboring utilities will arrive tomorrow (7/2) to assist with restoration efforts.
Mountain Shadows Neighborhood

For homeowners just east of Centennial who may return home soon, you should have water, electric and wastewater service. However, natural gas restoration will be a labor intensive process and you will not have natural gas service when you return. A flyer has been posted on your door with instructions.

A Mountain Shadows Restoration Team was created for further planning. Service restoration to areas west of Centennial will be complex, especially the restoration of natural gas service.

Customer Billing

Customer service representatives are staffing the Disaster Recovery Center

We understand many of you are concerned about your bills.

We are finalizing policies to adjust bills for customers most directly affected by the fire. This information will be posted either later today or tomorrow (7/2).


Incident Commander Rich Harvey, 7/1/12 press briefing, 8am

8am Press Briefing, UCCS

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

David Acker, Information Officer for Waldo Canyon Fire: “17,659 acres burnt, 45% containment, 1,534 people assigned to this fire. There will be a number of speakers today: Steve Cox, from the Mayor’s Executive Team; Jeff Kramer, from the Sheriff’s Office; Joe Rivero, Manitou Springs Police Chief; Jerry Forte, Colorado Springs Utilities; Wes Aston; Black Hills Energy; Major Reed, Colorado National Guard; and finally, Rich Harvey, from the Great Basin Incident Management Team.”

Steve Cox: “Lots of comments from the residents of Oak Valley that they’re area hasn’t been covered by fire responders, we want to address that this morning. At 2 o’clock we’ll make the decision whether or not we’re going to let people back into the neighborhoods of Oak Valley and Piñon Valley. The reason we didn’t let people back into the neighborhoods and make then make you leave again, like Mt Shadows, was because we wanted to let you in permanently and not make you leave again. At 2 o’clock there will be another press briefing that will update you on the status of being able to return home. Utilities will address your concerns about power and gas. This is about Peregrine, I misspoke. So, Mt. Shadows, pre-check-in is from 8-10am, they’ll be able to drive their own vehicles in. Ask people to be careful, don’t want people sifting through those areas. There will be two checkpoints. The first is call the North Division and that will be at Eagle View Middle School at 1325 Vindicator Drive for folks that live on Chuckwagon Road, South of Wolf Ranch and Flying W Road, west of Centennial Blvd will be the north division, check-in at Ealge View Middle School. The south division, check-in will be at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road, at the old MCI facility, the current Verizon facility, for folks that live south of Chuckwagon Road, South of 30th Street, west of Centennial Blvd, will check-in at that facility. There was going to be a pool camera, but after feedback, they’ve decided that this is too emotional an issue for the residents and that won’t happen today. Folks in the community need private to deal with the destruction emotionally. When will areas east of Centennial open? We’ll discuss that at the 2pm press conference.”

Jeff Kramer, El County Sheriff’s Office: “Information about Highway and the residents that live in Cascade, Green Mountain Falls and Crystola. East and westbound Highway 24 will open for residents of aforementioned communities only. From 9a-1pm, residents must provide ID a checkpoints to get in. They want to give residents time to settle before open the Highway at 1pm for all. At 1pm, concerning all motoring public, Highway is operating under a reduced speed limit to protect the firefighters that are working in the area. If don’t have a real need to travel highway, please don’t go there. They’re trying to keep traffic to minimum. No stopping along the shoulder. To residents returning, there might be property items that have been moved away from the perimeter of your home. A number of bears have moved into the area to take advantage of the trash. Division of Wildlife is working on that issue, but be advised. Health dept recommends running your water for a while to help clear any sediment in you pipes. Residents will get literature concerning utilities at your house, regarding gas service. Remain vigilant, the fire isn’t over. Stay tuned in to information sources. There will be a road closure in that area at Pyramid Mountain and Servary (sp?) avenue. That road closure will not affect the residents that live on that roadway. Trail systems remained closed. Waldo Canyon trail closed. Cave of the Winds and the Cliff Dwellings will remain closed, as well.”

Joe Revaro, Police Chief Manitou Springs: “Manitou Springs is deeply saddened by the losses that occurred around us. Reminder, we’re still on pre-evac status. There is still some risk from fire. Cave of the Winds and Cliff Dwelling still closed. Barr Trail and the Incline remain closed. Manitou community meeting will happen at Congregational Church at 103 Pawnee Avenue at 10am.”

Jerry Forte< CEO Colorado Springs Utilities: “12 years ago he went through the experience of evacuating due to a wild land fire. They were evacuated for two weeks. He had to work fire when he was leading the Los Alamos Laboratory Utilities. They went through much the same as what our community is going through now. By the end that fire, 350 homes were lost, as well. We he saw the wall of fire on Tuesday night, many of the feelings and emotions came back. We, as a utility, want to be very sensitive to people affected by fire. Tomorrow on www.csu.org, there will information for people that have been impacted and people who have lost their homes. Lack of information can create anxiety, 448-4800 or www.csu.org has information for you. We have a table at the Diaster Recovery Area. Yesterday, they got a a lot of work done in Perigrine, Oak Valley, and Mt. Shadows areas. Secruing gas system. About 3000 meters have been turned off and tagged out. On the doors of houses in that area, you’ll find information in a ziplock bag with specific instructions in terms of how to get your gas turned back on. Also, water service at 246 destroyed homes has been turned off. They were able to restore most electric service. 247 are still without power. They’re working to restore it today. There will be a ten process of testing gas lines today. In fire destroyed areas, they will have to a lot of work.”

Wes Aston, Black Hills Utilities: “Update on properties along highway 24. Restoration of natural in Cascade and Crystola. Crews are ready to go door to restore service by turning on gas meters and then relight pilot lights. Someone 18 or older needs to be at home to have the gas turned on. If you smell gas in your home, leave immediately and call the emergency number 1-800-694-8989. Customer service number is 1-888-890-5554.”

(Lost feed… we’ll post audio ASAP.)

 

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