Homes lost in Colorado Springs: 346

It was announced late today that 346 homes on 35 streets have been destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, making it the most destructive fire in Colorado history. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. One person has been found dead and another is missing. Before and after photos are available at the Denver Post website.

10 comments

  1. I am truly stunned by those before and after images PT. If you had asked me to point out the areas at risk for such damage beforehand, I’d have been hard pressed to point out any. Just goes to show how little I know! 😯

    1. In a city suburb, with the view they must have had from that high ground, I doubt many of them seriously thought anything like this would ever happen. It’s not like they were out on some remote mountaintop …

      1. I didn’t realize they were on high ground from the images. I have heard that heat rising up the sides of hills and mountains can accelerate a fire’s upward motion. What surprised me so much in the images was the relative lack of trees. Somehow, naively I guess, I thought that these areas were really dense with trees.

        Thought you might be interested in this video from Space.com:

        1. Many suburbs here spread into the foothills, where the rise in elevation is very attractive even though the terrain is often more scrub than forest. Normally fires do tend to run uphill, but downdrafts from a storm pushed this one down and through the canyons.

          I hadn’t seen the space images, but I’d heard that our smoke had spread into Wyoming and Nebraska. Philosophermouseofthehedge is in Houston and reported smoke there too.

    1. The home that survived might have been designed with more attention to defense against fire and/or the owners might have maintained a larger defensible zone around it (although in a suburban neighborhood one might not not think either was necessary). Or the fire might have just been fickle. Firefighters have told of homes they thought could be saved — where tearing away a wooden staircase or pulling a rug off a deck could make a difference. I’m sure they could write books about the decisions they had to make and why they made them. Bless ’em all for the work they’ve done and are still doing.

    2. Just heard this morning that some of those homes survived because the owners purposely left their sprinklers on when they evacuated. That needs to be on everyone’s list of things to do in case of wildfire.

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