Hi all, Today (Friday) has been the third consecutive day of hot
but otherwise decent weather for the firefighters to make progress
in the Waldo Canyon fire outside of Colorado Springs. The fire is
now considered to be 25 percent contained.
Thanks to the heroic efforts of 1,200 local, county, state, and
out-of-state firefighters under the direction of a federal team,
the fire has made no further incursion into Colorado Springs since
Tuesday's disaster. The ongoing effort has been a fine example of
cooperation between various agencies. President Obama visited briefly
today and offered federal financial aid.
Several sections of town that had been evacuated, including the
Air Force Academy, have been reopened to residents. It appears that
the main part of Colorado Springs is no longer threatened, although
sections of other neighboring communities remain evacuated or under
The frightening images of the Mountain Shadows neighborhood shown on
national television this week were even more terrifying in person.
346 residences were destroyed Tuesday evening, nearly all at the same
For those unfamiliar with Colorado Springs, the city covers a
geographic area of 195 square miles, not including the adjacent
communities. With that many homes on fire at once, and with the high
winds, we had no way of knowing if it might continue to spread over
a much larger part of our beautiful city.
Hundreds of firefighters risked their lives to save many other homes
while the fire was raging around them. In at least one YouTube video,
it is possible to see streams of water from fire hoses being directed
at homes in the middle of the conflagration. Many homes in the
neighborhood were indeed saved.
Most sadly, two bodies were recently found in one of the destroyed
homes. Other people remain missing. If this fire is found to have
been caused by arson, as suspected by certain agencies but not reported
officially yet, the charges will now include homicide.
Jeannie, I, and our neighborhood are safe. This will be the last
update I plan to send unless the fire takes a serious and unexpected
turn for the worse. Thank you again for your concern and kind wishes
expressed in your many emails and phone calls this week.
Art and Jeannie Reblitz
Colorado Springs, Colorado