If anyone has any information regarding the cause of the Waldo Canyon fire, please call 719/477-4205.
Here is the KKTV link. Excellent coverage, folks!
So far, no lives nor homes have been lost. As of this morning (I looked out a window at 3 a.m. and could see the fire’s glow), the fire has burned north from Waldo Canyon into Queen’s Canyon, continuing on its northerly direction into state forest land. It is about 5% contained (projected 100%containment of the fire is July 16th), and there are some 600 firefighters fighting the blaze that has consumed 4,500 acres. This morning the news said at one point flames are three miles away from Mountain Shadows, a residential area that has already been evacuated, but residents have been allowed back in. This is still an area of concern, if the flames run over and down the first ridge of Queen’s Canyon, into the depth of the canyon itself.
Also on the TV this morning, an airline pilot showed a shot of it he’d taken as he’d passed by it. He said the smoke plumes topped out at 33,000 feet and could be seen for 150 miles.
Last night we visited the Kissing Camel Overlook of Garden of the Gods to see what could be viewed from there of the fire (to be honest, I was also curious why authorities were concerned about people coming here to watch the fire/smoke plumes, since the media was uncharacteristically vague about why authorities were bothered, when I first heard this a couple days ago). It is normally a gorgeous view, as you will see below, but, yes, you can see plenty of smoke, and even a couple of instances of flames (look closely at the three “20:20” time hack pictures, below). You can also see passing emergency vehicles. The concern appears to be that motorists and on-lookers will get in the way (the road is a little wider up there, with bike lanes added into the road, and everyone there was quite civil, gracious, and under control, not pulling U-turns and the like), and (I later heard) that maybe a brush fire might erupt from a tossed cigarette butt or something. I can see the bottleneck concern, but everyone pulled off as far as possible onto the shoulders and seemed quite responsible in policing their own actions. There were many who had come to see what was going on, the curiosity understandable. After all, once you get breathing room from an impending disaster, you want to try to understand it. See what it was that it or was hurtling your way. It’s only natural. So, I was pretty impressed with the amount of people, the restraint of people, the hushed awe and concern for the fire and those fighting it. There was no “carnival-like” atmosphere at all about it…these were people who were genuinely concerned about their welfare and their homes–and their neighbors’ homes. Some even shouted out “Thank you!” to the passing firefighters that drove by.
They simply wanted to see what the Big Monster looked like.