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Waldo Canyon Fire blog: $50,000 reward for information on burn zone crimes

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Waldo Canyon Fire area, Dave Young tour, July 2, 2012

Waldo Canyon Fire area, July 2, 2012

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View official Waldo Canyon Fire updates on InciWeb

July 5 9:17am:

  • The fire remains at 18,237 acres with 90-percent containment, with crews hopeful they can achieve 100-percent containment by Friday.
  • A $50,000 reward will be issued for any information that leads to the arrests of suspects who may have committed crimes inside the burn zones. That reward will be coming from an anonymous donor.
  • The point of origin of the fire has been located but there is still no confirmed cause. The investigation for one continues.
  • The crew at the scene is downgrading from a Type 1 response team to a Type 3 response team.

July 4 6:40pm: Fire is 90 percent contained. Full containment expected Friday. Number of personnel drops significantly. 776 personnel on scene Wednesday night.

July 4 4:30pm: All Mountain Shadows residents who reside on the following streets may return home today, July 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM.
· Ashton Park Place
· Chambrey Court
· Charing Curt
· Chase Point Circle
· Darien Way
· Green Valley Heights
· Huffman Court
· Kirby Court
· Regal View Court
· Regal View Road
· Rossmere Street between Ashton Park Place and Courtney Drive (2305-2395)
· Twin Harbor Heights
· Vanreen Drive
· Vantage Ridge Court
· Vantage Vista Drive
· Via Verona View
· Wilson Road between Champagne Drive and Flying W Ranch Road
· Wolf Ranch Road

The area still has considerable risk, with certain areas considered unsafe. Residents are advised to prepare for flash flooding in burn areas by staying alert to flash flood watches and warnings and avoiding low-lying areas and places that are known to flood. Residents should not cross streaming water.

Residents of the remaining evacuated areas will have access to the area on Thursday, July 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the primary purpose of allowing insurance representatives to assess property.

July 4 11:06am:

  • The fire is now 80-percent contained, as crews got some help from some rain overnight on Tuesday.
  • The new estimated containment date is July 8 with 18,247 acres burned.
  • Currently, State Farm Insurance has received over 350 claims as a direct result of damages caused by the fire. That figure is fluid and expected to rise.
  • Natural gas has been restored to 2,400 homes.
  • Calm winds Wednesday morning are providing good conditions to fight the fire.

July 3 8:24am:

  • C-130 aircraft will resume operations today.
  • The fire is still 70-percent contained with 17,920 acres burned. There have been five minor injuries reported.
  • More evacuations will be lifted Tuesday at 6 p.m. for about 500 homes. The primary area those evacuees are being allowed to return to is south of Champagne.
  • Insurance agents will begin assessing the hundreds of homes damaged or lost on Thursday. Residents can meet with them from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • All voluntary evacuations have been lifted for Manitou Springs.
  • Mayor Marc Snyder of Manitou Springs: “I am pleased to share that our business and attractions are returning to their normal operations”
  • The fire is now 100 percent contained as it relates to the city of Colorado Springs.
  • The city of Colorado Springs and the county of El Paso are still under a fire ban.
  • About 1,050 customers in the areas of Oak Valley Ranch, Peregrine and parts of Mountain shadows have had utilities restored.
  • 3,000-plus customers are expected to have utilities by the end of Wednesday.
  • 1,200 customers are still evacuated due to sever damage to utilities. Some of those residents may have to remain evacuated for another week due to that damage.
  • The fire is in “really good shape” on the South, East and West flanks
  • The “only area of concern” now is the northern part of the fire near Monument Creek.
  • Rain is expect in the forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

July 2 7:45pm: Fire managers say they have achieved 70 percent containment. They anticipate full containment by Wed. July 11. The fire has grown to 17,920 acres. There are 1,523 personnel on scene.

July 2 8:45am:

  • Crews are working to restore utilities through the July 4 weekend. That process will start today
  • Restoring utilities to Mountain Shadows will take much longer — potentially weeks.
  • The focus Monday is to develop a plan for getting Mountain Shadows residents back in their homes quicker — possibly today.
  • All owners of destroyed homes will not have to pay utility bills. Other affected by the fire will have their bills adjusted.
  • There are no new developments as far as the fire’s statistics. It’s still at 17,827 acres, 55-percent containment and over 1,500 firefighters are on scene battling the blaze.
  • About 3,000 remain evacuated
  • Looting is a big issue. District Attorney Dan May warns possible offenders: “You better get prepared also. Pack your bags. We intend to evacuate you from our community.” Offenders would be charged with burglary with a maximum sentence of 24 years.
  • The focus of firefighting efforts remains containment. The first hasn’t grown, so the process is going well at the moment.
  • An investigation team is on the ground to explore the fire’s cause. There was no update on their progress as of 8 a.m. Monday.
  • Thunderstorms and erratic winds could cause problems in the burn area today. With that being the case, the residents who have been allowed to return home should remain vigilant and be prepared to possibly evacuate again.
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