Waldo Canyon Fire: Firestorm left stark destruction everywhere
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Officials announced Monday night that Waldo Canyon Fire was 70 percent contained. They expect full containment by the middle of next week.
The power of the firestorm that swept through the Mountain Shadows subdivision last Tuesday night left stark destruction everywhere.
A trip into the neighborhood Monday proves it. The blaze brought 2,000 degree temperatures … so hot that it twisted steel.
“If this would have come in a little bit south of our location, we probably could have been counting the houses in the thousands,” says Capt. Steve Riker of the Colorado Springs Fire Department.
He commanded the crews who stopped it from causing more destruction, ruining more lives.
One of the things that’s most striking is there are so many homes obliterated, nothing left but cinders and ash. But right next door, there are homes that are virtually untouched.
City Councilman Scott Hente’s home is in the scorched zone. The flames caused damage to his house. “My home stands for two reasons. One is the grace of God and two is the Colorado Springs Fire Department and all the agencies that were helping them,” he says.
Two people died and almost 350 homes were destroyed.The cause remains under investigation.
It’s Colorado’s most destructive wildfire and it leaves important lessons.
“We live in a beautiful city but we also live up into the wooded areas as Denver does and so many other communities that live around us and we have to take this type of living very seriously,” Riker says. “We have to mitigate our properties and we have to make our houses defendable.”