LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – The Colorado Fire Map reflected new containment efforts today despite the Waldo Canyon Fire’s advance Saturday. The Colorado Fire Map has been dramatically altered since the Waldo Canyon Fire quietly erupted last weekend. After a massive advance midweek, however, the fire slowed by Friday due to improved weather conditions. But in a news briefing today, officials still warn that tens of thousands of residents are still under evacuation; the Colorado fire is far from fully contained.
In a news briefing Saturday June 30, 2012, officials warned that the fire is now at thirty percent containment. But they estimate that it could take seventeen more days to get the fire completely contained. A blaze that erupted on June 23 is still located west of Colorado Springs, having burned nearly eighteen thousand acres in its path.
Officials told news that eleven dozers and eleven water tenders are being aided today by ten helicopters. With the total cost to battle the blaze now sitting at seven million dollars, the number of structures lost grew Saturday to 347.
Evacuation orders were dramatically changed on Saturday. Officials told news that mandatory evacuations are still in place for residents of Cascade, Chipita Park, Green Mountain Falls, and Crystola. All housing sections of the Air Force Academy with exception of the airfield are on mandatory evacuation as well, officials tell news.
In contrast, voluntary evacuations are still in place for Crystal Park, and Manitou Springs. Previous evacuation orders are now replaced with pre-evacuation orders for Pine Cliff, sections of Kissing Camels, Holland Park, Pleasant Valley, and section of Garden of the Gods Rd.
On Friday, officials told news that they expected a major jump in containment. No such improvement is anticipated for Saturday. Rather, officials are warning of deteriorating weather conditions today which may advance the fire further. “Fire activity is expected to increase today and tomorrow, with higher temperatures and decreasing humidity” they warned.”Possible afternoon thunderstorms could also bring strong, gusty winds. Temperatures are expected to reach at least 15 degrees above season normal. ” For the latest fire map, see below or click HERE to enlarge the below map. And for another fire map from Inciweb, click HERE .
Meantime, last night, the City of Colorado Springs released a list of homes destroyed or damaged in the Waldo Canyon Fire / Colorado Springs Fire. That list is in PDF here and here. Rich Brown told news that “eighty-one percent of homes in the (Mountain Shadows) area were saved….I want us to try really hard to try and emphasize the positive that has happened from this event.”
President Obama, in turn, told news yesterday that “Last point I just want to make — and that is that we can provide all the resources, we can make sure that they’re well-coordinated, but as I just told these firefighters, what we can do is to provide them with the courage and the determination and the professionalism, the heart that they show when they’re out there battling these fires.” He added “When we had a chance on site to see some guys who had just saved three homes in a community that had been devastated, for those families, the work and the sacrifice of those firefighters means the world to them, and they are genuine heroes.” For this and other news updates about the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon Fire, click HERE.
View Waldo Canyon Fire in a larger map