Our front door
My family and I finally arrived home yesterday after a full week on mandatory evacuation. We are all counting our blessings and praying hard for our dear friends and fellow residents who don’t have a front door to walk through.
Deepest thanks to all who e-mailed and tweeted well wishes for us and for all of Colorado. We are humbled by the kindness and generosity of so many who offered/lent a hand.
While national media interest and White House attention will disappear, the Colorado Springs community will be hard at work rebuilding. All those Burkean “little platoons” of civil society I wrote about last week will carry the ball:
*Please help us support these organizations and efforts supporting evacuees.
*More resources at Help Colorado Now.
*On July 4, there will be a benefit concert to aid fire victims at the World Arena.
The Waldo Canyon Fire has consumed nearly 17,700 acres and is now nearly 45 percent contained. Firefighters are working tirelessly to contain the remaining blazes; the estimated containment date of July 16 may be pushed up thanks to improved weather conditions yesterday. But it’s still an active and volatile stew of fire, smoke, heat, and fuel.
We’re not out of the woods yet:
SUNDAY, 1 a.m.: Mother Nature may make another appearance at the Waldo Canyon fire Sunday.
After a day of progress, which saw firefighters complete lines around 45 percent of the blaze, the area is under a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service for conditions that could drive the blaze. The Weather Service predicts that temperatures will hit the 90s amid gusty winds and low humidity,.
…Early Sunday, Colorado Springs Utilities will hold a press conference to detail their plans in the area hit by the fire.
What could be the most emotion-packed event of the day will come at 9:30 a.m. at the Norris Penrose Events Center. “Church at The Ranch”, is an event that was a Sunday ritual at Flying W Ranch, which was destroyed in Tuesday’s firestorm.
Worshipers will also gather at churches throughout the former evacuation zones to mourn what was lost and celebrate what was saved.
On the fire lines, 1,534 firefighters and a mind-blowing array of trucks, bulldozers and aircraft will work to reinforce lines around the blaze.
Fire officials warn that the plumes of smoke from the fire won’t end anytime soon.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation & be constant in prayer.” — Romans 12:12.
Update: A Red Flag Warning issued today…”explosive fire growth potential”…
— City of Colo Springs (@springsgov) July 1, 2012
URGENT – FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO CO
332 AM MDT SUN JUL 1 2012
…A RED FLAG WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR LOW HUMIDITIES…GUSTY
WINDS…HIGH HAINES INDICES AND DRY FUELS…FROM 1200 UNTIL
2100 MDT TODAY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 221 AND 226 THROUGH 237…
WHICH INCLUDES EL PASO COUNTY…TELLER COUNTY AND ALL OF THE
SOUTHEAST COLORADO PLAINS…
TELLER COUNTY/RAMPART RANGE-NORTHERN EL PASO COUNTY-
SOUTHERN EL PASO COUNTY-PUEBLO COUNTY-HUERFANO COUNTY-
WESTERN LAS ANIMAS COUNTY-CROWLEY COUNTY-OTERO COUNTY-
EASTERN LAS ANIMAS COUNTY-KIOWA COUNTY-BENT COUNTY-PROWERS COUNTY-
332 AM MDT SUN JUL 1 2012
…RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 9 PM MDT
THIS EVENING FOR LOW HUMIDITIES…GUSTY WINDS…HIGH HAINES
INDICES AND DRY FUELS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 226…227…228…
229…230…231…232 AND 233…
* AFFECTED AREA…FIRE WEATHER ZONES 221…226…227…228…
229…230…231…232…233…234…235…236 AND 237.
* WINDS…SOUTHEAST 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH.
* TIMING…NOON UNTIL 9 PM MDT.
* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…8 TO 15 PERCENT.
* LIGHTNING…ISOLATED AFTERNOON AND EVENING THUNDERSTORMS
PRODUCING CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES WITH ERRATIC WIND
GUSTS OVER 50 MPH ARE POSSIBLE.
* IMPACTS…RAPID RATES OF FIRE GROWTH AND SPREAD WILL BE
POSSIBLE WITH ANY FIRES.
A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF
GUSTY WINDS…LOW HUMIDITIES…HIGH HAINES INDICES…RECORD HEAT
AND VERY DRY FUELS WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.