Lot by lot, the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs is showing signs of residential life again after this summer’s devastating Waldo Canyon Fire. Eleven homes of the nearly 350 destroyed have been rebuilt, and about 80% of homeowners have resolved their insurance claims. But, as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, the community still faces big obstacles.

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.

Colorado Springs Together President Bob Cutter says one-third of the properties now have permits to rebuild and only one homeowner is still unable to start clearing debris. But along with insurance disputes and revegetation, Cutter recently told City Council the biggest remaining challenge is the huge range of emotional responses from fire survivors.

“From the people who got on with rebuilding immediately to the people even today that find it very difficult to return to their home site who [sic] was destroyed by the fire.”

President of Mountain Shadows Community Association Eddie Hurt says strong emotions struck some of his neighbors only in recent weeks. A rogue wave seemed to overcome him as he addressed council.

“Well, you can see. I didn’t even lose my house I’m pretty emotional still. But also there’s a lot of people there angry, a lot of anger. In the last probably three weeks I couldn’t tell you the number of people I’ve spoken to who — you just have to listen. There’s nothing you can say or do. Sometimes they may not even be rational.”

A partner organization of Colorado Springs Together offers counseling and group therapy for neighborhood residents. Hurt says he rebranded the men’s session after realizing few were attending. Now called the “Mountain Shadows Fighting and Drinking Club,” the group drew some 30 men to a local brewery for its first session.


Comments are closed.


October 27, 2016 | NPR · Mike McQueary testified in the defamation case that he had reported seeing another former coach, Jerry Sandusky, abusing a boy. McQueary says he was fired in retaliation for helping investigators.

October 27, 2016 | NPR · Dharun Ravi accepted a plea deal after courts overturned his original conviction. Tyler Clementi killed himself after secret video taken by Ravi of Clementi kissing a man was shown to other students.

October 27, 2016 | NPR · Brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy still face charges stemming from an armed standoff in 2014 with federal agents at their father’s ranch in Nevada.

Arts & Life

October 27, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks to Washington Post reporter Alyssa Rosenberg, who has written a series for the paper about how Hollywood and pop culture has influenced the way the public perceives police.

Sony Pictures Entertainment
October 27, 2016 | NPR · After three adaptations, including The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the lively heresies of Dan Brown’s bestselling thrillers have sunk into timid incoherence.

Courtesy of Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures
October 27, 2016 | NPR · In Jim Jarmusch’s jagged documentary, Iggy Pop reflects on the necessary recklessness that made The Stooges punk legends.


Courtesy of the aritst
October 27, 2016 | WXPN · Dawes, Lydia Loveless and more also joined NPR’s Ann Powers and Jewly Hight for intimate rounds of storytelling and music at Nashville’s Union Station Hotel during AmericanaFest 2016.

Courtesy of Amazon Studios/Magnolia Pictures
October 27, 2016 | NPR · In Jim Jarmusch’s jagged documentary, Iggy Pop reflects on the necessary recklessness that made The Stooges punk legends.

Eric Coleman
October 27, 2016 | NPR · On this week’s +1 podcast, NPR Music contributor Timmhotep Aku talks with singer and rapper Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge about their new collaboration under the name NxWorries.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac