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Waldo Canyon Fire 55 percent contained

A smoke column from the Waldo Canyon Fire on June 26. Photo courtesy Adam Drake/InciWeb.org.

Some residents able to visit their neighborhoods to survey damage; Highway 24 re-opens

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters say they’ve been able to more than halfway contain the deadly Waldo Canyon Fire, a blaze that will go down in history as Colorado’s single most destructive wildfire.

The fire started June 23, three miles west of Colorado Springs. Three days later, it exploded eastward toward the city, killing two people, destroying 346 homes and requiring the evacuation of 32,000 people.

By Sunday afternoon, incident commander Rich Harvey said the 17,827-acre fire was 55 percent contained and announced the re-opening of Highway 24, a major transportation route into the central mountains. Continue reading

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Pine Ridge Fire 35 percent contained

Terrain, access and concern about resources challenge firefighters

Pine Ridge Fire burning near I-70 in De Beque Canyon. Photo courtesy De Beque Fire Protection District. Click the pic to see the entire Pine Ridge gallery at inciweb.org.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Pine Ridge Fire, in Mesa County, Colorado, has grown to more than 13,000 acres but is also more than a third contained, with continued concerns about potential threats to the town of De Beque and the I-70 corridor.

Fire behavior contineus to be extreme in some sectors, with torching, backing and more fire in fuel islands remaining on the fire’s interior.

Fire officials said key factors, including winds and fuel moisture, combined, indicate  there is a high potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity, and growth. With a shift in the wind, firefighters had to hold the line on the north, northeast and southeast flanks.

The Union Pacific Railroad is helping to deliver water to remote areas of the fire by rail and a team of resource advisors is working with fire managers because of concerns about  oil and gas well locations, cultural resources, threatened and endangered species, and the wild horse range.

Pine Ridge Fire

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Colorado: High Park Fire declared fully contained

Firefighters at Pingree Park break down their Spike Camp. Photo courtesy CSU.

Firefighters continue to mop up hot spots within perimeter

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal incident commanders and local emergency officials Saturday declared the 87,284-acre High Park Fire 100 percent contained and lifted all evacuation orders for the area, allowing some residents to return home. Continue reading

Colorado: Two deaths confirmed at Waldo Canyon Fire

 Firefighters work to hold lines at the Waldo Canyon Fire. Photo courtesy Adam Drake/InciWeb.org. Click to visit the rest of the InciWeb gallery.

Damage assessment continues

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Springs officials Friday confirmed two deaths from the Waldo Canyon Fire, as firefighters carefully approach charred, smoking rubble to try and complete an assessment of the damage.

The cause of the fire, which started June 23, is still under investigation. A string of arsons in the region has spurred suspicion that the Waldo Canyon Fire may have been intentionally set, and law enforcement agencies are seeking tips from anyone who was in the area where the fire started. Continue reading

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