Colorado - El Paso County - Waldo Canyon Fire

State: Colorado

The Waldo Canyon Fire is a forest fire that started approximately 4 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 23, 2012, and 1 mile from a western neighborhood. It was declared 100% contained on July 10, 2012 after no smoke plumes were visible on a small portion of the containment line on Blodgett Peak. The Waldo Canyon Fire left two people dead, destroyed 346 homes and burned 18,247 acres in the Pike National Forest and in Colorado Springs. As of July 22, it is still an actively burning fire, according to Inciweb. The fire is active in the Pike National Forest and adjoining areas, covering a total of 18,247 acres. It caused the evacuation of over 32,000 residents of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Woodland Park, several small mountain communities along Highway 24, and partial evacuation of the United States Air Force Academy. U.S. Highway 24, a major east-west road, was closed in both directions. The Waldo Canyon Fire is the most expensive fire in Colorado State history with insurance claims totaling more than $352.6 million. It is also the most destructive fire in Colorado state history as measured by the number of homes destroyed, eclipsing the previous record-holding fire, the High Park Fire of 2012.

EcoFlight flew representatives of the Natural Resources Defense Council over the wildfire on July 26, 2012. We continue to work with many groups to give an aerial perspective to this issue, continually exacerbated by the effects of worsening climate disturbance.