Preliminary estimates show insurance companies will pay almost $300 million dollars to homeowners affected by the Black Forest Fire.

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.6 of an inch of rain in 15 minutes caused flash flooding yesterday, sending debris onto Highway 24, temporarily closing some roads, and damaging about 20 homes.

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Highway 24 was briefly closed today due to a mudslide and debris in the roadway. The El Paso County Sheriff’s office is reporting that 20 homes have been damaged, 6-8 of them significantly. No injuries reported. Colorado Ave and Manitou Ave are reopening. Canon Ave at Park remains closed at the control of Manitou Springs Police Department. MSPD is the lead agency for the remainder of the incident.

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The East Peak Fire burning in Huerfano County is now 85% contained and has burned 13,521 acres. Officials say the fire will not reach 100% containment until sufficient interior mop-up is complete. Ten handcrews, four helicopters, 28 engines, two dozers, and 15 water tenders remain on scene. As the containment on the fire grows, resources [...]

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The Colorado Department of Transportation is set to re-open US Highway 160 through Wolf Creek Pass Saturday morning at 6 AM. The route’s been closed for over a week due to the West Fork Complex, a series of fires burning in the region. The decision comes after multiple agencies determined the reopening could happen, barring [...]

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The East Peak Fire burning in Huerfano County is now 70% contained, and remains at 13,472 acres. A total of 628 people are assigned to the fire. The blaze remains active near the East Peak, and is burning in steep, rocky terrain. Officials say smoke may still be visible from inside the perimeter. Fire Behavior Analyst Brenda Wilmore says “active fire behavior is rapidly diminishing.”

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Homes with Highway 83 address that have direct access off Hwy 83 are now on pre-evacuation status. El Paso County Public Health is opening what it’s calling a Public Health Convenience Center for water testing kits, tetanus vaccinations, and public health information.

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U.S. 50 has reopened, and all evacuated residents are allowed home. Officials say those residents will remain on a pre-evacuation notice, pending fire conditions. The Royal Gorge Tourist Train can begin running again, once the railway determines they’re ready. River access on the closed sections of the Arkansas River will be re-evaluated on Friday. Containment of the fire is listed at 40%.

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As of 10:15 PM Tuesday night, officials estimate the Royal Gorge Fire at 3800 acres, with 0% containment. Evacuations include south of US 50 to Canon City; west from Canon City to Parkdale; east from County Road 3A. Red Cross shelter is located at Evangelical Free Church, Canon City. At least three structures have been lost. The fire jumped the Arkansas River canyon, and is within a quarter mile of US Hwy 50 in some areas. Power outages north of Canon City are affecting 350 customers.

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The Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management is offering another round of free sandbags today to residents affected by potential flooding, starting at 5 PM.

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Residents of Mountain Shadows and others are invited to an informational meeting Tuesday, May 7th. The meeting is expected to address updated information regarding the increased flood risk and the city’s planned response to a potential flash flooding. Presenters are planning to spend the first half focusing specifically on risk in the Mountain Shadows [...]

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Dr. David Rosgen of Wildland Hydrology presented a regional study yesterday, looking at how water, sediment, and debris is predicted to flow along the Waldo Canyon burn scar. It’s called a Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply, or WARSSS. During the presentation, Rosgen said it’ll take the better part of a century [...]

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Residents of Chaffee County are invited to Wildfire Preparedness Seminars, put on by Colorado State Forest Sevice, Salida District. The meetings are expected to focus on topics including this year’s wildland fire forecasts, homeowner mitigation tips, and evacuation plans during an incident. Tonight’s meeting is at the Salida Steam Plant Annex. Tomorrow’s meeting takes [...]

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Tonight’s flood preparedness meeting at Ute Pass Elementary for residents of Chipita Park and Cascade has been postponed due to the weather. County officials are working to reschedule the session. Click inside for a list of currently scheduled meetings.

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Despite fierce winds in and around Fort Collins, fire crews continue to make progress battling the Galena Fire in the foothills northwest of town.

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The nearly 500-mile Colorado Trail is adding a new section expected to be ready for hiking this summer. The section takes part of the Canada-Mexico Continental Divide Trail and incorporates it into the Colorado Trail.

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Today is the last day for residents of Colorado Springs to register to vote in the upcoming citywide election. Ballots will start hitting the mail this Friday, though the City Clerk’s office has until March 18th to send all of them.

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Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is laying off workers at its Windsor and Brighton blade factories, the company announced today. The reduction affects 10% of Vestas’ statewide workforce of 1100 employees, and comes after Congress renewed a Wind Energy Tax Credit at the end of last year.

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Manitou Springs City Council took the last step tonight to approve the legal opening of the Manitou Incline to hikers, beginning Friday, February 1st.

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A winter storm is bringing some much-needed rain and snow to the Front Range and northern mountains.

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Included are council pay, an elected Utilities Board of Directors, and an elected City Attorney.

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Snowpack conditions in the Arkansas River Basin continue to be below normal. The latest numbers released today show the snow to water equivalency at about 3.5 inches. This time last year, that number was pushing six inches. Overall, the basin is about half of where it should be. Across Colorado, the numbers are much [...]

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Crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation remain on full snow shift across the state, and are expected to remain on hand through tomorrow morning. As of early afternoon, CDOT says Eastern Colorado is the trouble spot, with a number of closures.

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News

Getty Images
January 27, 2015 | NPR · The forecasts had called for up to 30 inches of snow for the city, but the historic storm failed to materialize. By early morning, however, parts of Massachusetts had gotten more than a foot of snow.
 

 Courtesy of the Kelder family
January 27, 2015 | NPR · After a long legal battle waged by a family member, the remains of Pvt. Arthur “Bud” Kelder have been identified by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
 

Getty Images
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Almost 680,000 children in the United States were victims of abuse in 2013. And state and local governments aren’t doing enough to report abuse and investigate it, an independent report finds.
 

Arts & Life

January 27, 2015 | NPR · Esther Freud’s new novel Mr. Mac and Me traces an unlikely friendship between a lonely boy and a struggling artist. Reviewer Heller McAlpin calls says the book has both technical prowess and grace.
 

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
January 27, 2015 | NPR · Critic Kenneth Turan says Going Clear and The Hunting Ground are among the films that “blew people away” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
 

January 26, 2015 | NPR · From flying like a bird to walking through a refugee camp in Syria, virtual reality has enabled journalists, filmmakers and artists to immerse their audience in their stories like never before.
 

Music

January 27, 2015 | NPR · Punch Brothers sing of distraction and isolation in the digital age on their new album The Phosphorescent Blues. While the group may look like a typical bluegrass band, the sound is all their own.
 

Courtesy of the artist
January 26, 2015 | NPR · Ezra has a voice that can float high and delicate, but it can also wade deep. His debut album, Wanted On Voyage, is named for the words inscribed on Paddington Bear’s suitcase.
 

Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
January 26, 2015 | WQXR · Hear the CSO and its charismatic conductor Riccardo Muti in a program showing the muscle and subtlety of the of orchestra in music by Scriabin, Debussy and Mendelssohn.
 

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