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Black Forest Fire Voluntary Evacuation Zone Established [UPDATED]

June 14th, 2013 - 10:25 am

10:25AM: I’m feeling confident enough now to make this post non-sticky, but I’ll continue to update as needed.

9:19AM: Division A covers the fire’s closest approach to Highway 83, just east of yesterday’s expanded mandatory evacuation zone. That’s where today’s big effort will concentrate. “Everywhere it’s grass, we’re winning,” up in the north. There are a couple hot spots on the eastern edge near Meridian, but the line has held. They don’t sound worried at all. There’s still heat in the Shoup area and the now-famous School of the Wood, but that’s also the place yesterday they were willing to call contained.

Cooler air and — for now — lighter winds. “Aviation assets are still strong,” with no losses. The mood is cautious-but-confident.

I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference a year has made in Colorado’s ability to respond to these fires.

9:08AM: “In general I am feeling more confident today.” That’s Sheriff Marketa, who says they gained some “tremendous ground” yesterday. More to come.

7:06AM: Number of evacuees now up to 41,000. That includes 3,000 from inside the city limits of Colorado Springs. The most encouraging sign I’ve seen so far is that the sheriff’s office is at least considering allowing some evacuees back into their homes.

FRIDAY, 6:49AM: Woke up twenty minutes ago and the first thing I did was check the evacuation zones and burn area maps. No additional evacuations overnight, which is good. But the winds were strong and steady all night, so it looks like we have a lot more fires within a slightly enlarged burn area.

Friday Burns

The real danger looks to be the same as yesterday, to the south of Shoup Road and to the east past Meridian. I’m to the north and west, but if we didn’t have to evacuate yesterday — and I was deeply convinced we would — then there’s a good chance we won’t have to today either.

Yesterday the Air Force and National Guard showed up like the Eighth Air Force over Germany in 1943. There were private planes and copters involved, too. Combined with over 700 firemen, the fought the breakout in the east-west running Shoup-Hodgen corridor damn near to standstill. Because if the fire were going to burn its way into the heart of Colorado Springs, that’s where it was going to happen. Sheriff Marketa described the effort as something close to a victory. But today there are many new fires south of Shoup, so last night must have been tough. The weather forecast for today is cooler, cloudier, and most importantly, less windy.

The next press conference is scheduled for 9AM.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"5:20PM: All times Mountain for future reference. But how about some nice news:"

Switching to liveblog mode, eh? I want to see you write choking noises as Melissa wraps her hands around your neck and drags you from the house. ;-)

Seriously, though. Please don't be a hero. I'd rather read about you laughing about an unnecessary evacuation over a martini in Denver, than your obituary. I know I don't really need to say it, but I am any way.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I've never been good at the "quietly drunk" thing. I always start out with that intention, but it eventually gets turned up to eleven at some point.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thoughts and prayers out to you, your family and the rest of those in harms way.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Steve, the radio was reporting there were fires on the South side of Shoup. Whether that is from the satellite or it's witness reports, I don't know.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
May God Bless you and your loved ones, Steve.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good luck everyone. I went through a bad California wildfire and I can assure you whatever happens, you'll have the strong support of your community and the nation.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
This fire, at least yesterday, can move very quickly. When I got to my house just east of Black Forest Road yesterday, we were still not in the pre-evac zone. We started throwing some things together anyway and a few minutes later the power went out and I had a police officer knocking and telling me I needed to get out now. Managed to get the dogs, cats and wife into the cars and off we went. Not a moment too soon either as the neighbors yards were all on fire and we had burning branches dropping from the trees as we were going down the driveway. Pretty scary given that at most twenty minutes had gone by since I got home and it looked like we were ok for the time being.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
any word on how your property has fared?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the off chance you need to evacuate, we're up in Parker & have a ton of room.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks! But if we need to bug out, we have friends way far south with enough extra beds for us, both boys, the dog, and the cat.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Find a Monolithic Dome in which to shelter.
See: http://youtu.be/prdpHYelN9o
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"5:20PM: All times Mountain for future reference. But how about some nice news:"

Switching to liveblog mode, eh? I want to see you write choking noises as Melissa wraps her hands around your neck and drags you from the house. ;-)

Seriously, though. Please don't be a hero. I'd rather read about you laughing about an unnecessary evacuation over a martini in Denver, than your obituary. I know I don't really need to say it, but I am any way.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
By the way. I've been keeping Liora up-to-date on your situation. She sends her love and prayers to you and the gang.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
good luck and best wishes
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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