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spot fires are now showing in the trees on the air force academy property.  this is below the perigrine community and may be the result of blowing embers from the main body of the fire.  there are people on the ground at the academy who have already put out several smaller fires that have started - this one looks a bit larger in scope from the smoke evident in the kktv live feed.

yesterday,many good comments and links are here...

another side issue:  tuesday, the worst day for this fire as it jumped into the mountain shadows community was also the primary day for colorado.  because of the fire, the ballot counting process in el paso county was halted due to evacuations - however, the ballot counting was moved under escort and those ballots should be counted and results completed later today.

other good coverage is through krdo news  and koaa news live feed

one more note:  ANY person in this diary who tries to "politicize" this fire is NOT welcome!  this is a place for news, updates, help, support - it is NOT a place for petty and offensive comments about the politics of people whose lives are impacted!  

our hearts go out to all who are facing the uncertainties of this disaster - and especially our hearts go out to nurse kelly and all the kossacks (their friends an families) who are in the path of this disaster.

please note that on the facebook pages of these news stations, the charities and ways to assist are listed.  also, there are two active attempts at scamming occurring - one from a 505 area code - where people are getting calls demanding they donate money to assist.  the public is being warned NOT to contribute to ANY person who calls them directly, instead, contribute directly to those charities who are known.

now, over 300 homes have been burned - and this is far from over.

please send your prayers, healing thoughts, energy, support to those who are fighting this fire and to those who are afflicted by the impact!

stay safe, for those of you who are in harm's way...

12:33 PM PT: UPDATE:  there are erroneous reports that homeowners are being allowed back into evacuated areas - this is NOT true - if you are in the affected areas, please do not try to go back into these areas.  your safety and the ability of the fire fighters to do their work without worrying about your safety is critical!  NOTHING is worth your lives - nothing - absolutely NOTHING!

12:36 PM PT: update two:  blogett peak near perigrine has some activity but not anything threatening at this moment.  the real concern is the wind - and in the afternoon, that is what will be watched closely.  there is also a bit of lightening happening right now - another concern.

the air force academy is making a fire line around the academy at this time.  firelines work.  it keeps the fuel from travelling on the ground.  the reminder is also to everyone in the area not to leave there cars running where dry grass might be caught by a spark - also, for those outside the fire area, a reminder that if you ever pull off the road, your catalytic converter is hot enough to start a fire underneath if there is dry fuel (grass, leaves, etc) where you stop.

1:13 PM PT: update 3: more smoke plumes in monument and palmer area - storm going through right now - but the storm isn't extreme.  this is north of air force academy.  

so far, nothing crazy being reported... let's hope that holds!  send good thoughts for more rain, less lightning!  so far, the rain is not over burn area (glen eyrie) but is south of that area.  still, any moisture is good moisture for this dry area.  the temps are at 73 degrees with 40% humidity which is a relief for the firefighters who were working in triple digit temps.

in monument area, the temps are higher but should drop with this storm and the krdo newscaster said the fires are not "raging" - that is such good news right now!  wind speeds are only 20+ mph at the leading edge - that is also good news!

4:33 PM PT: UPDATE IV  this is a link to the streets where homes were lost.

Originally posted to edrie on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.


are you prepared in the event of a disaster/emergency?

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Comment Preferences

    •  nothing that i've seen - otteray scribe has (16+ / 0-)

      talked to her and updates appear on jtown... still waiting.

      was just looking at the devastation in the mountain shadows development - truly tragic - but amid homes reduced to ashes, there are beacons still standing...

      folks, no matter WHERE you live, mitigation efforts are so important!  removing pine needles from the ground, not stacking firewood against the house, moving propane grills AWAY from the house - clearing a fire line and combustible fuels from around the home - these are all things that can possibly save your home!  the mountain shadows development shows two houses still standing that were not surrounding by trees.

    •  She's okay, just have a bit of a down day -- she (9+ / 0-)

      is sure entitled to one!

      "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

      by pittie70 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 11:02:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just talked to her, and (11+ / 0-) pittie70 says, she is having a down day.  She said they had a pre-evacuaton notice, which basically means to be ready if they give the evacuation notice.  She also said most of the restaurants and the Walmart in town have evacuated.  So far, hers is not among the 300 homes burned (I believe those are in the outskirts of Colorado Springs).

      Told her we're all going through "Nurse Kelley withdrawal" and sending the positive thoughts her way.

      GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

      by NormAl1792 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 11:12:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the homes that were lost were in the (7+ / 0-)

        mountain shadows area and look to be in one area of a subdivision.  the frightening thing is that the fire changed so suddenly and overtook that division within 45 minutes.

        tuesday, a strong thunderstorm came through with high winds and pushed the fire through queens canyon and down the hill into the subdivision.  the folks there went from preevacuation to mandatory in less than an hour - and the fire travelled so fast that the firefighters had NO chance to stop it.

        this is why it is SO critical to be prepared.  have the car packed - have the important papers (mortgage, medical, wills, bank records (account numbers), etc.) together - medicines, water, clothes, pictures, important things - ready to go in an instant.

        do you know where your pet's kennel is placed?  is it in the bottom of the pile in the garage?

        if you NEVER have to evacuate, what harm is done?  if you have to go immediately, then you are prepared!

        •  btw, i was watching the live feed as that unfolded (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NormAl1792, Ekaterin, cfk

          and it was surreal!  the centennial blvd shot where the view was clear one minute and with several minutes, it was so obscured with smoke from the changing winds really illustrated how quickly things change.  there was a live camera feed from one of the subdivisions (that appears to have been lost) that showed how fast the flames were racing down that hill and how the residents were trying to gather everything to leave very quickly.

          the good news in all this tragedy is that NO lives have been lost - every one has listened to the evacuation orders and everyone is okay.

          perhaps this is the legacy of the three lives lost in the high park fire - when those in charge say leave - leave!

  •  the cattle from the flying w ranch were released (12+ / 0-)

    because the fire overtook their facility so fast - they were just rounded up and brought to a local equestrian center!  some showed evidence of being scorched - but they look like a very happy group of cows right now!  about 20+ cows...

    on krdo right now.  just released into the ring...

    the rescuers had ten minutes to rescue the cows - this is what large animal rescue is all about - why it is so important to be trained and prepared to get in, get the animals and get out!

  •  further notice on evacuated areas --- NO areas (10+ / 0-)

    are being opened for anyone to go in - all evacuations still stand.

    this is to keep the area clear for the firefighters and to not  place people in potential harm's way that would cause firefighters to have to divert from fighting the main lines.

    patience, folks - i know it's hard - but the safety of people takes priority over things!

  •  Thx for all the info. Prayers for all affected. (7+ / 0-)

    Tipped & rec'd so more can see....

  •  Thank you again, edrie (6+ / 0-)

    tipped, rec'd, linked in J Town. See you tomorrow

    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne

    by remembrance on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:40:38 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, edrie. (6+ / 0-)

    I've been wondering how things were going for Nurse Kelley and for all those in the area affected by the Waldo Canyon fire.  Sending good thoughts and prayers and wishes to all affected and to those fighting this fire.  

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis

    by 3goldens on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:51:12 AM PDT

  •  Just got this email from a friend in Co. (6+ / 0-)
    Our town of Momument, West of I-25 is under prevacuation, and just waiting. We have many things gathered,and XXXX, and XXXX are waiting for our call.

    XXXXX and her boys fly in from XXXX today. XXXX, XXXX and her husband, took many things out of K's house along with their two kitties in X's two cars to XXXX home in Castle Rock.
    We will pick them up at the airport today in C.Spgs, and give them my car, since theirs are filled with belongings and in Castle Rock.

     All of the AFAcademy housing has been evacuated, and all the facilities are closed. The new class of Doolies is arriving today, with parents, and will be processed in, but may be taken to UCCS, or out to Ft. Carson.

    XXXX's Mom, XXXX, 92 3/4, was evacuated from her nursing home,along with 250 wheel chair bound patients to a hospital in C. Spgs.thank heavens. That place is way up high in the mtns., and just blks away fdrom the fire.
    18,000+ acres have burned, and 32,550+ residents have been evacuated from their homes into the area, with all of their pets. Lots of ranchers are taking in horses, llamas. High schools are taking in the evacuees, and we have volunteered to take in cadets as long as possible.

    XXXX and his oldest daughter, XXXX, 15, will come here to stay with us, and XXXX and the two younger ones, dog, and two cats will go to our home in Dillon. Their builder is STILL not finished with their home, and they had to move our of their rental home!

    Supposed to rain today, but there is always lightning, so the weather people are worried about this. Smoke, ash the air, so the quality is BAD.

    Aren't you glad you asked! But thanks for asking.

    We used to live in Colo springs and could see the AF Chappel from our house. This is beyond sad.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 10:57:26 AM PDT

    •  the good news coming out of this is that there has (5+ / 0-)

      not been a single injury - not even a single sprained ankle!

      i hope this continues - and that the firefighters can hold the lines!  there is a live update right now on kktv - talking about preevac and areas evac'd.

      for those interested, please go check out the fema website on how this all works - the IS100b and IS200b self study sections explain how the incident command centers are organized and run.

      after katrina, fema worked with local communities to set up programs like CERT (community emergency response teams) to help individuals assist in times of emergencies - and through fema and programs developed, now there are large animal evacuation teams that also work with the incident commander structure to effectively and SAFELY evacuate large animals and small from affected areas (when it is safe to do so).

      i can NOT stress enough how important it is for everyone to prepare for an emergency - know what to do!

      simply living next door or down the block from a fire station does NOT mean that station will be there to help you - they are assigned according to the greatest priority - and may drive by and not stop when disaster strikes!  this applies to fires, earthquakes, twisters, floods, ALL disasters!

      if you think of the number of firefighters, police officers, ems workers, etc., how many of them in each community and THEN look at the number of people evacuated (32,000 so far and rising) - the numbers simply don't equate!

      PLEASE! don't wait to prepare for a disaster - even if you think you are in a "safe" zone.  earthquakes happen in areas where they've never occurred before.  twisters touched down in california last year.  with climate change - things are changing!

      actually, take some time to go through the fema links - it's chock full of good information! (especially the "are you ready?" link!)

  •  Thanks so much, edrie! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, ColoTim

    You are right that this fire should make us all take stock of whether we'd be able to evacuate promptly. There is no part of the country that is immune to extreme weather and other catastrophes.

    The Denver Post has some very sobering pictures of parts of the Mountain Shadows area before and after the fire.

    Okiciyap food pantry is still helping Cheyenne River Reservation. Please help.

    by belinda ridgewood on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 11:23:28 AM PDT

    •  thanks so much for the link. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belinda ridgewood

      extreme heat, extreme cold - other types of disasters - drought, floods - they all affect us just some more slowly than others.


    •  oh, those pictures are heartrending... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      belinda ridgewood

      i counted over two hundred homes gone - but there were several still standing.  now it is so important to find out why those made it through the inferno so that better neighborhood planning can be put into place.  i wonder if the close proximity to each home was a factor.  once the fire starts to burn with one in high winds, then the embers jump.  

      i think we will be looking for new types of landscaping and planning as we face more of these type of disasters (climate change/wind/heat/drought).

      how very very sad...

      •  The team that's been giving the press conferences (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, ColoTim

        has stressed several times that people have some power, in advance of a fire's approach, to protect their homes. You've mentioned here about clearing dry debris such as pine needles off the roof and keeping brush and woodpiles away from the sides of the house. They said a couple of days ago that people in Cascade could take credit for having saved their homes by taking mitigation measures. They advised people to google "defensible space" for more tips (like those at this link.)

        Okiciyap food pantry is still helping Cheyenne River Reservation. Please help.

        by belinda ridgewood on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 12:17:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is so true - it is the "fuel" that can spark (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, belinda ridgewood

          and cause a home to be lost.  after the oakland hills fire, the neighborhood has been vigilant about controlling that "fuel".

          from the side of the road where grasses grow in dry weather to the clutter beside the house that could ignite to the dried leaves stuck in a gutter or eave - all have the potential of igniting from blown embers.

          i've had a chance to help stop several side of the road brush fires over the years BEFORE the fire dept arrived.

          the first was in the modesto area - a small fire started - i raced to find a phone to call it in (pre-cell days).  no one was home - i turned and headed back in time to see a man in a truck pull up - park down wind and calmly take a shovel from his truck and start making a break and putting the dirt onto the low flames.  i asked if he had another one - he motioned to the truck and i grabbed it and did the same thing on the other border.  we got the sucker out just as the fire dept pulled up.

          for another - a car caught fire and my puny little cheapo fire extinguisher in the rv didn't work when held at an angle! (PLEASE check to see what your extinguisher does and how it works! -- buy the a,b,c, ones with a hose!).  when it was apparent i couldn't reach the engine , i hit the hillside that was catching.  slowed the sucker down until the firetruck arrived.

          the last one was when i had several young friends with me from the dli in monterey.   some f*cktard was starting fires on both sides of the road on 156a.  

          we pulled to a safe distance and grabbed my saddle pads from the trunk and started beating down the flames from three angles.  when the fire truck pulled up and saw us, their beaming smiles were worth having a couple of singed dressage pads, for sure!  

          a fire of this magnitude, i cannot begin to imagine the work and strength of the wildland firefighters.  ours were itty bitty grass fires - theirs are hundreds of feet of flame in a wall or sheet racing toward them.

          let's all send them wishes for safety and success!

        •  that is a wonderful link! thank you SO much (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, belinda ridgewood

          for finding it and publishing it here.

          preparation is the best defense in a situation like this.

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