Homes burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs

The dragon roared, Colo. Springs burned

Homes burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs
Homes burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs (Photo by John Wark, www.johnwark.com)

A break in the weather yesterday came too late for hundreds of homes in the Colorado Springs subdivision of Mountain Shadows. It was painful enough to hear of scattered mountain homes burning in the High Park Fire near Fort Collins; it’s absolutely terrifying to contemplate the damage done in a suburban neighborhood. Reports this morning have varied, with some saying “hundreds” of homes and others saying “more than 300.” More photos at the Denver Post. Video at 9News.com.

Update: It was announced late today that 346 homes on 35 streets have been destroyed by this fire, making it the most destructive fire in Colorado history.

11 thoughts on “The dragon roared, Colo. Springs burned

  1. Horrendous indeed, PT. It makes me think. Mollie and I used to have a house with a shake-shingle (cedar) roof. Very pretty, but the Fourth of July always made us nervous. And one more thought: I see insurance rates soaring as a result of this. I wonder how much geography figures into their calculations and if this terrible season will make them do that more?

    1. You were right to be nervous with those shake shingles. Years ago in Oklahoma City, a single pop bottle rocket landed on a shake roof and 8-10 homes in a very expensive subdivision were destroyed. Since then, the city has banned both fireworks and shake shingles. The bans are stringently enforced. I’m infuriated and appalled here every year when this neighborhood sounds like a war zone despite an ordinance against fireworks. And I’ve never seen police in the area, despite my calls.

      I’m not sure how this fire will affect insurance rates. People already pay exorbitant rates to insure isolated mountain homes, but I don’t know at what point a home in a city subdivision becomes a mountain home. On a smaller scale, geography/topography certainly figured into the disaster in Colorado Springs. Downdrafts from storms were funneled in odd directions by canyons. The homes in the photo were at the mouth of a canyon.

  2. The before and after shots of that neighborhood are tragic.
    Analysts last night were discussing how many people were building in CO “fire prone” areas now. What? It would be interesting to know what criteria of “fire prone” area was – guessing canyons and trees from the maps they were showing – but prairies burn a lot, too.
    The insurance companies will use this to crank up premium costs – like they do in hurricane prone areas.
    Most of the subdivisions around here ban wood shingle roof construction…and even some of the big planned communities which used to boast of all the “natural landscape” requirements are re-thinking and asking people to trim brush/trees around their houses and remove dry brush /leaves
    Since it’s an election year and CO is critical – maybe federal funds will be liberal.
    Those poor people.
    Thanks for your updates

    1. Any area could be classified “fire prone” in a drought, especially when there are careless, stupid people and/or arsonists around. They are still investigating the cause of this fire and saying it wasn’t arson, and yet the FBI has been called in to help … Hmm …

      Yes, the insurance companies will go nuts over this. They never miss a good excuse to hike rates.

      Obama is supposed to be here today. I appreciate his concern, but it smacks of politicking (he could send an underling to “assess”). Besides, every time he shows up, the traffic gets horribly snarled, and they have enough problems in the Springs already.

  3. So sad, so sad. And we are in such a horrible drought which has not ended from last year. But so far this year the city has not closed down the bosque and no fireworks ban (as of yet). Fires all around us and just because we haven’t had any in the city, then ignorant fools just don’t think they’re happening elsewhere and can easily happen here. Just one firecracker, one bottle rocket is all it takes. Poof!

    1. Yep, we’re continuing a drought from last year too, after a very dry winter. I think I mentioned somewhere our illustrious governor banned the use of fireworks statewide this year, but not their sale. Duh! I saw one woman whining about no fireworks on the Fourth; her city had canceled its show. It’s not like there won’t be municipal displays in nearby cities. And even if there aren’t, has she not been reading the news??? Stupid, selfish woman …

... and that's my two cents