ST LOUIS (LALATE) – The Colorado Springs Fire map 2012 spread dramatically overnight as the Waldo Canyon Fire and neighboring wildfires consumed new acres. The Colorado Springs Fire map on Sunday was just at three thousand acres. But in a news briefing today, officials confirmed that the Waldo Canyon Fire has now grown to eighteen thousand five hundred acres, threatening Douglas County and the Air Force Academy. As much as ten acres have burned on the Air Force Academy grounds along.
Officials tell news today that the map for the Colorado Springs Fire made its biggest change Wednesday evening as poor weather conditions spread the blaze closer to Colorado Springs residents. The Waldo Canyon Fire erupted on Saturday June 23 as just a lesser reported fire striking the state. At the time, LALATE reported that the fire was being fought by three hundred fifty firefighters as it sat at two thousand acres. In a Thursday news briefing, officials indicated that seven hundred sixty-four personnel are now fighting the Waldo Canyon Fire that as grown to eighteen thousand acres and remains at only five percent containment.
Incident Commander Rich Harvey had warned news last night that extreme weather conditions were making this fire erratic. Harvey told news and residents that the fire could jump lines held on the east and north. By Wednesday afternoon, increase wind gusts moved the fire perimeter on both the north and east lines. Red Flag Weather Conditions and Haines Index of 6 signaled weather patterns pushing this blaze to the east.
By Wednesday, evacuations were in place for Pinon Valley. The fire quickly approached communities of Mountain Shadows, Perefrine and Rockrimmon. By Thursday, fires were able to be seen by residents on the northwest side of Colorado Springs.
Yesterday, arriving cadets at the Air Force Academy were not being relocated because of the fire. But by Thursday, officials confirmed to news that five hundred fifty cadets were now being relocated off Air Force grounds because of the new advance of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Those cadets now join the thirty-two thousand residents under mandatory evacuation today June 28, 2012.
Meantime, the number of structures lost remains uncertain. But in a news statement, firefighters indicated that a possible two hundred to three hundred homes may have been destroyed.
On Thursday, officials told news of a newly established Waldo Canyon notification website. On it located HERE, officials tell residents that “If you are concerned about the status of your home or business, please fill out the form belowâ. Officials warn residents that “Many affected areas are too dangerous for assessment teams to enter, but as they are able to do initial damage assessments of affected areas you will be contacted.â
In addition to evacuation orders on Wednesday, officials issued to news today new mandatory evacuation orders for Crystola, both El Paso and Teller County. Also under mandatory evacuation today are residents east of State Hwy 24 from Crystola to Baldwin St./Rampart Range Rd. to the Teller County Border at Loy Creek. For the rest of the new evacuation orders released to news today, click HERE . These new orders join existing mandatory and voluntary orders issued to news Wednesday located HERE.
Officials tell news that four evacuation centers still remain in place for Lewis Palmer High School in Monument, Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Southeast YMCA in Colorado Springs, and Summit Elementary School in Divide.
Meantime, city agents have been releasing to news both a series of new Colorado Springs Fire Maps and Waldo Canyon Fire Evacuation Maps.
First as to the Colorado Springs Fire Map, there are multiple versions of the fire zone map currently. This map HERE shows the growth of the fire since June 23. But for the latest fire map, see below or click HERE to enlarge the below map. And for another fire map from Inciweb, click HERE .
Second, for evacuation maps, Colorado Springs officials have released this new map HERE for residents. Also, Douglas County has issued its own evacuation details to news Wednesday evening located HERE .
Douglas County told news yesterday âPlease monitor local news channels for fire updates. If the fire comes dangerously close to your area, an evacuation order will be sent to this same telephone number.” Officials are warning residents to be aware of orders and to act promptly. “However, residents must maintain situational awareness. If you are in danger, do not wait for an evacuation order. Take the initiative to leave immediately if local conditions warrant such action.” Officials indicate that Douglas County residents will need to evacuate to the North when and if ordered.
Finally, officials have released to news telephone numbers to assist residents under voluntary and mandatory evacuation. For that information, click HERE . For this and other news updates about the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon Fire, click HERE.
View Waldo Canyon Fire in a larger map