No doubt you've heard about the Waldo Canyon Wildfire near my hometown of Colorado Springs. Having lived here most of my life, what seemed impossible became reality. Like the rest of the nation, we have experienced record-breaking high temperatures. So it was a 'perfect storm' waiting to happen here. The national news covered every sensational detail and our local stations covered every live press conference twice daily, and for a while, broadcast nothing else. This was communication at its best! But in spite of the heroic work of many fire fighters on the ground and in the air, 346 homes, one popular tourist attraction, and sadly, two lives were lost. Many more damages remain to be tallied. Now, the task of supporting those who are homeless and refurbishing our local economy remains.
Although businesses here have lost millions in revenue at the peak of our vacation season, everyone wants the world to know that Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region is open for business as usual! Evacuees have returned home, highway 24 has reopened and the area attractions are open to visitation. Although the fire is still active, it is currently 80% contained (and climbing) and the perimeter is not spreading. The skies are smokeless and blue and we have received much-welcomed rain!
A lot of lessons have been learned here and I'm sure this event will have much to teach to those who may experience something like this in the future. Here are a few photos that show what it was like here the last several days. I've added one NORMAL view of what you can NOW see here at the end:
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