Colorado: Flagstaff and Waldo Canyon fires force evacuations

Flagstaff fire, June 26, 2012

UPDATED at 8:52, a.m. MT, June 27, 2012:

Due to a large number of people seeking information about the Waldo Fire in Colorado Springs, our site hosting provider is having some issues. We have posted updated maps and more information about the fire at our sister site,


Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs

The Waldo Canyon fire has burned over 6,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs since Saturday, but it found new life on Tuesday and exhibited extreme fire behavior as a record high temperature of 101 and strong winds pushed it into a populated area, burning an undetermined number of homes while forcing 32,000 people from their homes.

Around 7 p.m. the southbound lanes of Interstate 25 were closed at Interquest Parkway. The northbound lanes remained open at that time. All lanes were later opened.

An evacuation order was issued after 9 p.m. by the City of Colorado Springs for areas that are north of Garden of the Gods Rd. between I-25 to the east all the way to the western City limits and north to the Air Force Academy. The evacuated areas in the Air Force Academy include Academy Dr. to the USAFA’s southern and western boundaries.

The Academy’s glider port is being used as a helibase for the helicopters dropping water on the fire.Their Class of 2016, consisting of 1,045 freshmen cadets, are scheduled to arrive Thursday.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team, Great Basin Team 2, Incident Commander Rich Harvey, assumed command Monday morning, June 25.

Information about evacuations can be found at InciWeb. Public Information Center Phones: 719-520-7058, 720-402-7935, 720-202-4510, 720-237-9947, 720-237-3417

The City of Colorado Springs also has some fire information, including a map of areas that are under evacuation orders.

Flagstaff fire near Boulder

Flagstaff fire, June 26, 2012
Flagstaff fire, June 26, 2012 (KWGN)

The Flagstaff fire started mid-afternoon on Tuesday about three miles southwest of Boulder, Colorado and by 4:45 p.m. had spread so rapidly that a Type 1 Incident Management Team from California staged in the Denver area, Rocky Opliger Incident Commander, was dispatched to manage the fire. First called the Bison fire, it became the Flagstaff fire, named after a nearby road.

The first evacuations were ordered before 3:28 p.m. and the size at that time was estimated at 200 to 300 acres.

Below is information as of 9:00 p.m. from the City of Boulder Office of Emergency Management:

  • Only 26 homes have been evacuated. Those were near Bison Drive and Kossler Lake.
  • A total of 2,416 reverse notifications have been sent to people in and around the affected area [to remain on standby in case of a change in fire direction and behavior overnight]
  • Three helicopters and two tanker planes were working the fire until sunset.
  • About 100 firefighters are on the ground doing structure protection through the night.
  • The fire is burning in upper Skunk Canyon. just west of the NIST/NOAA campus, and expected to produce smoke in Boulder through the night.
  • A Federal Type 1 team is expected to take over management of the fire on Wednesday.
  • All Pets Animal Hospital, 5290 Manhattan Circle, 303-499-5335, is open 24 hours and is accepting small animals. In the case of an evacuation, small animals can be dropped off at All Pets if their owners are unable to take them with them in the case of an evacuation.
  • No structures are threatened at this time.
  • There are no reported injuries and there is zero percent containment of the approximately 300 acre fire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Colorado: Flagstaff and Waldo Canyon fires force evacuations”

  1. from pt wakefield fire an rescue station, sth aust. australia, our thoughts an prayers to the families who lost their homes,, to all services plz stay safe/.


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