• POSTPONED, rescheduled date TBA, Good Old Summertime Pie Baking Contest & Ice Cream Social, Mon., July 9, 5-8 p.m., Soda Springs Park, Manitou Springs, manitousprings.org.
• CANCELLED, WWE Smackdown, a brigade of WWE superstars appearing live, including John Cena vs. Big Show & John Laurinaitis and Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio. Special appearance by WWE COO Triple H. Tues., July 10, 7 p.m. $15-90. World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd., 800/325-7328, worldarena.com.
• CANCELLED, The Family Stone, Fri., July 13, 8:30 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Center
——- UPDATED POST, THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 5:35 P.M. ——-
• CANCELLED, Happy Ass Ranch Music Festival, June 29 through July 1, facebook.com/events/198258723628475.
• Rescheduled for Aug. 9: Pictures on the Promenade Happy Feet 2, Thurs., June 28, 8:30 p.m. thepromenadeshopsatbriargate.com.
• CANCELLED, rescheduled date TBA: Pikes Peak Hill Climb, read more about it here.
• CANCELLED, rescheduled date TBA: Chamber and EDC Annual State of the City Luncheon, Thurs., June 28. coloradospringschamber.org.
——- UPDATED POST, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 5:45 P.M. ——-
• CANCELLED, Red, White and BOOM!, Tues., July 3, 4 p.m. Fort Carson, Highway 115, carson.army.mil.
• CANCELLED, Eighth Annual Pikes Peak Arts Fest, a free family-friendly celebration of the arts featuring music and works from local artists as well as food and drink, rides, face painting and hands-on activities for kids. Sat., June 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun., July 1, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Mon., July 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, 290-1981, pikespeakartsfest.com.
• CANCELLED, rescheduled date TBA: Clayfest, a two-day event full of wares, kilns, classes, an area for children and more. June 30 to July 1. Soda Springs Park, 1016 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, clayfest.com.
• CANCELLED: Longhorn Cattle Drive, longhorns and cowhands take over Tejon Street for the annual Ride for the Brand Rodeo kickoff cattle drive. Fri., June 29, noon. Downtown, various venues, 635-1101 ext. 6, championshipranchrodeo.com.
• CANCELLED: From KRCC, the DeVotchKa concert scheduled for Thursday, June 28, at Colorado College has been cancelled. There will be a make-up concert in the fall. Tickets purchased for the cancelled show will be honored in the fall. More information on refunds for those wanting one will be available in the next few days online and on-air.
——- ORIGINAL POST: 2012-06-27 13:04:30 ——-
From the listings desk: The following events have either been canceled or postponed until further notice. Check back for updates and be advised that some events may cancel or postpone at the last minute, so it's best to call ahead of time to make sure.
• CANCELLED, rescheduled date TBA, One Year Later, a reception and 90-minute panel discussion on the previous year that Colorado Springs has spent under a new form of government. Wed., June 27, 5 p.m. $20. The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, 8 S. Nevada Ave., 323-2000, peakfreedomforum.org.
• CANCELLED, Bettman & Halpin, Wed., June 27, 7 p.m. Limbach Park, Second and Front streets, Monument, monumentmerchants.com/Concerts.htm.
• CANCELLED, rescheduled date TBA, Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horses, a fundraiser for the museum, featuring live music, and whiskey and beer tastings from Colorado craft distilleries and breweries. Fri., June 29, 6 p.m. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., 634-5581, csfineartscenter.org.
• CANCELLED, “Our First, Most Cherished, Freedom: a Community Discussion on Religious Freedom”, a panel discussion with religious leaders, scholars and liberty advocates. Wed., June 27, 7 p.m. Free. CC's Gates Common Room, 1025 N. Cascade Ave, 866-6510.
• CANCELLED, rescheduled date TBA, Ladies of Jazz with Mark Arnest, an evening of local jazz in an intimate setting. Bring a picnic or purchase drinks on-site. Fri., June 29, 7 p.m. Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 601 N. Tejon St., 328-1125, graceststephensepiscopal.org.
• CANCELLED, Colorado Springs Social Media Day, a chance to learn more about social-media strategies, and engage with leaders in the industry. Registration is required. Sat., June 30, noon. $10. Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive, 476-2200, stargazerstheatre.com.
• POSTPONED until Sept. 2, Lowell Thomas Revisited, a fundraiser featuring a program by Richard Marold, book-sales, wine, cheese and more. Sat., June 30, 4 p.m. $15. Stratton Outdoor Amphitheater, Teller County Road 81 & Diamond Avenue, Victor, 689-5509, victorcolorado.com.
• CANCELLED, The Bristol Mile, a fundraiser for the Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center from Bristol Brewing Co., featuring a professionally timed one-mile, downhill foot race. Packet pick-up begins at 6 a.m., with varieties of racers departing between 8:45 and 10:15 a.m. Sat., June 30, 8:45 a.m. Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School, 1200 W. Cheyenne Road, 475-6120, bristolbrewing.com.
The Fourth of July celebrations in Monument and Palmer Lake have been CANCELLED. Given that the United States Air Force Academy has closed to visitors, it too may cancel its celebration. The Indy is also waiting on confirmation from Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site to see if it will cancel its event.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Ultimate Open Championships, also to be held at USAFA July 4-8 remains tenuous at this time. According to Ultimate's website, the Academy will announce Friday, June 29, if it will still host the event. In the meantime, Ultimate is looking for alternative venues. (Its backup is being used as an evacuee shelter.) Read more here.
We've seen powerful images of the Waldo Canyon Fire still blazing on the west side of Colorado Springs. And we've seen images of hope — those indications that life goes on, even in the wake of disaster.
Please help us illustrate those stories.
Whether you submit photos on our Facebook page or via Twitter, we want your fire imagery. Or, if you need a break from the fire, send pictures about life instead. (Take, for example, the adjacent image of newly planted cosmos just beginning to bloom in Manitou Springs.) These photos should be pictures you took, not pictures you've found online.
All submissions will be considered for inclusion in an oft-updated slideshow of images on this website. Additionally, we may be interested in including your image in the print edition of the Independent. In either case, your name will accompany your photo.
By submitting your work to us, you agree to warrant to the CS Independent that this is your own work submitted (including all elements of the work) and that nothing within any work has been copied or added from another person’s work; that you license to CS Independent and agree that your work may be reprinted in the Colorado Springs Independent and on the website at csindy.com.
You also agree that in consideration of CS Independent including works submitted to the CS Independent, that you indemnify and hold the CS Independent harmless from any claims, actions, proceedings costs and expenses arising as a result of any allegation that the relevant Participant did not own or is not wholly entitled and authorized to allow publication and reproduction of the work by the CS Independent.
It probably won't come as any great surprise to you, but homosexuality cannot be "cured" by prayer.
What might surprise you, however, is that the president of Exodus International, a 36-year-old organization dedicated to that very idea, has finally publicly admitted that no one can simply pray the gay away.
From the Associated Press:
“I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included,” said [Alan] Chambers, who is married to a woman and has children, but speaks openly about his own sexual attraction to men. “For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”
Exodus International is an "Orlando-based group that boasts 260 member ministries around the U.S. and world." For years, Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family partnered with Exodus in offering Love Won Out conferences, which were meant to help gay men and women use the power of faith to overcome their sexual desires.
As Focus put it at the time:
Focus on the Family launched Love Won Out in 1998 to educate and equip Christians on how to respond to the issue of homosexuality in a biblical way, and has traveled to more than 50 cities worldwide with its message of truth and grace. The conference has always featured Exodus speakers and highlighted Exodus member ministries.
"There is no one better equipped to take over the operation of Love Won Out than Alan and his team," said Focus on the Family's Melissa Fryrear, a Love Won Out speaker and host for more than six years. "They have been with us since the beginning. They have stood alongside us in sharing the hope that, with Christ, transformation is possible for those unhappy with same-sex attractions."
Chambers himself is gay. Yet he is married to a woman. He describes this marriage to the AP as "the best marriage I know. ... It’s an amazing thing, yet I do have same-sex attractions. Those things don’t overwhelm me or my marriage; they are something that informs me like any other struggle I might bring to the table.”
A second body was found today in a home on Rossmere Street in Mountain Shadows, Springs Police Chief Pete Carey said at a media briefing this afternoon. He did not identify either the latest victim or the other victim, whose death was announced last night, despite saying officials had spoken with the family. Carey also gave the address as 2910 Rossmere.
Those are the only fatalities reported in a fire that destroyed 346 homes on Tuesday as the Waldo Canyon Fire swooped into the city.
Residents of the affected area will get their first close-up look at their homes on Sunday when the city begins giving residents tours of the area. The tours are for those citizens whose homes were involved in the blaze.
City director of economic vitality Steve Cox told the media at the same briefing that 4,000 people live in the affected area, and buses can only carry 30 at a time, so the city has a logistical coordination issue on its hands.
Others who have been evacuated whose homes aren't damaged might have to wait awhile to get back home, because Colorado Springs Utilities has a lot of work to do in restoring gas to the 4,200 homes that were cut off during the fire, Utilities CEO Jerry Forte said.
"This is still a very active fire," Forte said. While Utilities workers were at first allowed to get back into the area earlier today, they were pulled off again this afternoon, he added.
The delay in letting residents return is related to the time it takes for utility crews to inspect and ensure the integrity of the system, he said. "We have to go house to house to be sure there are no gas leaks. That's going to take some time."
He gave no estimate when that job might be completed, and said Utilities might have to repair big portions of the gas system.
U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jerri Marr said the fire, which stands at roughly 16,750 acres, is 25 percent contained and noted firefighters are making progress. Air tankers continue to pound the fire's edges.
When a reporter asked why Mayor Steve Bach's staff had told residents at a meeting Thursday night not to speak to the media, Bach and Cox denied they had said that.
"I tried that," Bach joked. "It doesn't work."
Cox said nobody told homeowners they couldn't speak to the media and, in fact, told homeowners where the media was located outside the meeting room so they could seek them out if they wanted to.
Indy reporter Bryce Crawford has received word that medical marijuana patient Bob Crouse, the subject of a controversial felony cultivation and distribution of marijuana case locally, has been found not guilty on all charges.
Attending advocate Audrey Hatfield, of Coloradans 4 Cannabis Patient Rights, had told us earlier this week that Crouse's fans were a little worried about the jurors selected for the trial, which started Monday. But Hatfield reportedly told Crawford this afternoon that those jurors sided with Crouse, who asserted that a paperwork snafu was to blame for any MMJ laws violated.
We'll follow up on this story in the days to come.
Time Traveller's Circus will feature music performances by El Toro de la Muerte, Tango Red Tapestry, Hopeful Heroines, Malakai, Dear Rabbit, Blighter and many others. There'll also be circus performers and dancers, fortune tellers, body makeup artists, and an after-hours adults-only show. It'll all be going on August 17-19. (Note also that El Toro and 14 other bands will be playing in the air-conditioned comfort of Zodiac at the Soco Sweet Dudes Fest this weekend.)
In the meantime, Happy Ass Ranch is expecting to reschedule the called-off festival and will be issuing full refunds to everyone who's already purchased tickets. In addition, the ranch is providing assistance to evacuees and their animals, and you can get in touch with them through the event's Facebook page.
Editor's note: Tucson Weekly offered to help us with our Waldo Canyon Fire coverage. This piece was written by reporter David Mendez.
As the wildfire rages on, many parents are facing a dilemma: How do they help their children cope with the fact that the world they knew might be forever changed?
“As parents, our job is to let kids experience the world, but at the same time, shield them from things that may be too overwhelming,” says Dr. Fred Michel, a Colorado Springs specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry.
His first piece of advice: Limit children’s exposure to the media.
“It’s a general rule for life, but it applies well to times of crisis and trauma, especially when kids may not quite understand everything that’s happening,” he says. He advises parents to keep from overwhelming children by moving focus away from the news and toward discussion and family activities — or, at the very least, changing the channel.
Danel Lipparelli, a disaster mental health supervisor with the American Red Cross, says that the one of the best ways for parents to help their children is to encourage communication.
“Comfort them. Reassure they’re safe, and make sure they understand that no emotions they’re experiencing are bad,” she says. “Also, try as much as possible to maintain routines. Keep meals at the same times. Keep them going to school (if possible). Maintain bedtimes, and keep kids around people they know and trust,” she says.
Michel reminds parents to pay attention to signs of anxiety. Children are often unable to clearly verbalize their fears, and sometimes display anxiety through regressive behavior, such as wetting the bed, having nightmares and throwing tantrums.
“If we understand it, it’s easier to give them a bit more leniency,” he says. “They’re not just doing something bad that day; they’re struggling with the anxiety of a tremendous change.”
Experts recommend that families not yet displaced take steps to prepare their children for emergencies.
“It’s important to maintain a dialogue,” says Sara Kennedy, a spokesperson with the American Red Cross. “Giving kids information and a bit of control over their situation helps them to feel safe.” For example, she urges parents to get their children to be proactive by participating in home safety drills.
Michel adds that including children in the process of determining what they’d like to take with them in the case of an emergency evacuation — like pets, pictures or favorite toys — can make them feel more comfortable and prepared.
Experts also remind parents to keep options open for their children to help others in the community who may need assistance — for example, by participating in food drives and volunteering at shelters.
“When you and your kid are involved in a solution, you don’t worry so much, because you’re doing something,” Michel says.
Kennedy agrees. “Being part of the response for those who have been affected makes things a little less scary. [Kids] will know that they can help people, and it will help them feel that someone will help them if they need it,” she says.
Most of all, experts believe that helping children cope with the wildfires begins with parents.
“Children are taking cues from their parents. Loss is a family issue that they all are going through,” Kennedy says. “The process is one of grief. Recognizing that and realizing that it is legitimate is important.”
Lipparelli encourages parents to recognize the gravity of their situation, and make peace with it.
“Accept that you’re in a disaster; it’s OK to be emotional about it,” she says. “There’s a lot of anxiety with everybody. That’s normal. It will lessen; just go with it.”
Save the Children domestic disaster support
National Child Traumatic Stress network: wildfires
National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children After a Wildfire document
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychology: Talking with children about wildfires and other natural disasters
We may never feel like we will be able to adequately thank the firefighters for their heroic work with the Waldo Canyon Fire, but we can try, any way we can. Even if it means a public thank-you note, like these from the west side and Manitou Springs, captured by Indy freelancer and photographer Rhonda Van Pelt.
Want to help out, but feel like you may not have the resources? Creative types, here's your chance.
We spoke this morning with local businesswoman Marcea Flowers, who is looking to put together a benefit event for the American Red Cross.
Flowers, who has been volunteering at various evacuee shelters while also hosting a displaced family at her home, has partnered with Perry Sanders of The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel to try and host the benefit. However, it's still in the very early stages, and she's looking for help in any way possible.
She says she's looking for musicians, bands and any other types of performers to play the event, as well as items which can be auctioned off, food and drink, and anything else the community would be willing to donate. Flowers hopes to have the event about two weeks from now, and already has a few necessities in the bag, such as a location, a ballroom at the Mining Exchange thanks to Sanders.
(The Mining Exchange, by the way, has opened up 60 rooms to evacuee victims, she says.)
For those who would like to donate monetarily, Flowers will soon set up a PayPal account to funnel money directly to the Red Cross.
To contact Flowers, call 344-4191 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the listings desk: Here's a round-up of some of the events that, of this writing, are still scheduled to occur this weekend. Check back for further updates.
• Double Bubble, a one-man performance by Jim Jackson as Mr. Guffaw, who plays with bubbles of types: some as large as the stage, others that smoke and explode, bubble sculptures and more. Ice cream sundaes will be served following the show. This weekend, the MAT will offer free tickets to everyone. June 28 to July 22. $10. Millibo Art Theatre, 1367 Pecan St., 465-6321, themat.org.
• Waldo Canyon Fire Fighters Karma Hour, an all-day fundraiser in which Bristol Brewing Co. will donate $1 from every pint purchased to the Waldo Canyon Fire Fighters Fund. Friday, June 29, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. bristolbrewing.com.
• Young Austin & No Difference, Friday, June 29, 5-7 p.m. First & Main Town Center, Powers Boulevard between Constitution Avenue and North Carefree Circle, firstandmaintowncenter.com.
• My Fair Lady, the classic musical tale of transformation and true love. This weekend only, the theater will offer buy one ticket, get one free. Through Sept. 1. Weekday matinees $8.25-$14.25; weekends/evenings $10.25-$16.25. June 29 to Sept. 1. Butte Opera House, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 877/689-6402, 689-3247, buttetheater.com.
• 1776, a performance of the 1969 Broadway musical by the Damon Runyon Repertory. The theater will provide free tickets to those evacuated from their homes due to the fire. June 29 to July 1. $10-$22. Damon Runyon Repertory Theatre, 611 N. Main St., Pueblo, 719/564-0579, runyontheater.org.
• Ride for the Brand Championship Ranch Rodeo, 60 cowboys from 12 ranches, in five states, will compete in six different events in a winner-take-all showdown. The rodeo will offer free tickets, a burger and a drink to the first 3,000 evacuees who would like to attend. Saturday, June 30, 6:30 p.m. $5-$20. Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, 635-1101, championshipranchrodeo.com.
• Nights of Wild #3, an evening devoted to capturing your wild side with a focus on body modification and piercing. With speakers, stories, poetry and more, led by local author Jené Jackson. Saturday, June 30, 7 p.m. $5. Marmalade at Smokebrush, 219 W. Colorado Ave., #210, smokebrush.org
• Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School: Presented by the Modbo and Peaks and Pasties, live drawing in the gallery with a twist, burlesque models. This month's sitters are Annie Envy and Talia Tiramisu. Room is limited to first come, first served. Sunday, July 1, 6:30-8 p.m. $12 donation. Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., 633-4240, themodbo.wordpress.com.
The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center has a new visual arts curator, Christel Dussart, who will take the reins officially July 1.
Dussart worked extensively in the Colorado Springs arts community, serving three years as director of visual resources at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and as assistant to the director of Smokebrush Gallery and Foundation. She joined the Sangre as an exhibition preparator in September 2011, becoming assistant curator in March of this year.
Dussart's experience extends outside the state, the Sangre's press release says. She volunteered for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and worked on the prep and install of temporary exhibits at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Currently, Dussart's working toward completing her master's in Art History/Museum Studies with an emphasis in "contemporary activist art organized around environmental issues" from City College of New York.
Sangre's former curator, Karin Larkin, left in February to accept a job as director of art at UCCS, marketing manager Nicki Hart writes in an e-mail. Dussart filled in as an interim while the museum searched for Larkin's replacement. They interviewed several candidates from around the country, Hart writes, including Dussart.
Here's the full release: ChristelDussart_Release.pdf
Yesterday, the Indy spoke to Michelle "Nelly" Johnson, artist and coordinator behind tomorrow's We Are Not Rembrandt art and rock show. (See the full story here.) Johnson says the event is still a go, but she's going to donate part of the artwork sales to the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Red Cross.
As we spoke, Johnson was packing up herself from the pre-evacuation area of Manitou Springs, just to be safe. She was quick to note the generosity of friends offering their homes to her, a warmth she's felt since moving here from Minneapolis nine months ago. In that spirit, she wants to give back.
Here's a peek at what to expect: art from Johnson, instruments from Blindworm Guitars and more.
The list of streets has grown from 34 to 35. Here's the full list and meeting details:
Waldo Canyon Fire Impact meeting
A meeting ONLY for residents of the streets below will be held tonight to inform them of the status of their homes.
Tonight, 8 p.m., Gallogly Events Center, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
6 p.m. Busses depart shelters
6 p.m. Check-in opens
8 p.m. Residents meeting begins
9 p.m. Press conference at media staging area with residents from the meeting who will give interviews.
This meeting is for residents of the following streets only. This is NOT a public meeting. Residents should bring identification to gain meeting access. Refreshments will be provided. Counselors will be available.
Note to the media: Media is asked to respect the privacy of residents who may receive devastating news. Meeting participants willing to speak to the media will attend the post-meeting press conference at 9 p.m. at the UCCS media staging area.
Residents of these streets should attend:
§ Trevor Lane
§ Linger Way
§ Rossmere Street
§ Tallesson Court
§ Sandray Court
§ Majestic Drive
§ Ravina Court
§ Regal View Road
§ Stoneridge Drive
§ Heartstone Lane
§ Karamy Court
§ Lionsgate Lane
§ Hot Springs Court
§ Jenner Court
§ Brogans Bluff
§ Darien Way
§ Rayburn Way
§ Braeburn Way
§ Timora Way
§ Mirror Lake Court
§ Wilson Road
§ Harbor Pines Point
§ Yankton Place
§ Chambrey Court
§ Charing Court
§ Ashton Park Place
§ Courtney Drive
§ Vantage Vista Drive
§ Vantage Ridge Court
§ Huffman Court
§ Aubrey Way
§ Van Reen Drive
§ Alabaster Way
§ Lannigan Street
§ Capra Way
——- ORIGINAL POST: 2012-06-28 16:29:00 ——-
Colorado Springs Mayor Bach said at the 4 p.m. news conference that 346 homes were destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire, which blasted through 34 streets in the Mountain Shadows area on Tuesday. But fire officials said significant headway was made on the fire today, noting it's now 10 percent contained.
Bach said a meeting at 8 p.m. is for families affected by the fire. "This is going to be a tough evening, but we're going to get through it," Bach said. "Suzie and I are going to lead an effort to bring every resource to these people who have been hurt so badly."
Bach asked the press to show "a little bit of humanity" toward the families. "We will move forward as a city like we never have," Bach said.
Bret Waters, the city emergency management director, said the city is evaluating evacuations. "We expect some significant lifting some mandatory evacuations on the east side of the evacuation zones," he said, but didn't say exactly when that would happen.
Police Chief Pete Carey asked for residents' patience as city officials decide which evacuated areas to release from evacuation. He also noted that officials suspect some criminal activity in the evacuated area and to call 444-7000 to report it, once they're allowed back home. He thought there was an arrest for a burglary but had no details.
The cooler temperatures today along with some rain helped firefighters achieve 10 percent containment.
"We made significant progress today," said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jerri Marr. "The weather cooperated today as it has no other day since the fire started" on Saturday.
Rich Harvey, incident commander, added, "We're feeling very confident we made good progress today, very minimal fire growth, and no injuries to the firefighters today."
Although Carey said there are less than 10 people who are unaccounted for, he said police are trying to figure out exactly where they might be.
Springs Deputy Fire Chief Tommy Smith said firefighters usually do two searches of each structure, but haven't been able to do so in the Mountain Shadows area due to the unusual fire conditions. He said those searches will begin tomorrow.
An event tonight from the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, held at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery, was originally supposed to host the senior director of enforcement for the Colorado Department of Revenue. The idea was, you pay $10 and get a chance to learn more about upcoming industry developments.
The Waldo Canyon Fire has changed all that, so instead the 7:30 event will not feature George Thomson, and will serve a larger cause.
"This mixer will now be a FREE event, but we ask you to bring cash/check donations, non-perishable foods, pet foods, water, etc to donate to the Red Cross and other organizations in need at this time," reads the CSMCC's notification. "100% of the proceeds will go to help the fire victims, so we encourage each of you to come out and join us in bringing relief to our community. This event is open to the public, so please help us spread the word and hopefully we can collect many donations for victims!"
In case you missed it:
"We now know hundreds of homes have been destroyed," Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach told reporters this morning at the morning briefing about the Waldo Canyon Fire, which has claimed 18,500 acres.
"We are assessing every address so we have absolute accuracy," he said.
The city plans to begin notifying homeowners who had properties that were "impacted" later today, and Bach promised a more precise number of homes lost by noon.
Meantime, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jerri Marr said Wednesday was a good firefighting day, during which crews made "great headway." She also noted that today was not expected to be a red-flag day, defined as when high winds and heat work against firefighters.
Incident commander Rich Harvey said the fire saw its smallest growth since it began last Saturday. He said 1,200 firefighters are fighting the blaze, not including "hundreds" of others from neighboring departments who have streamed in.
"Today we're going to be incredibly aggressive on this fire," he said. "We have the horsepower in place."
Harvey said besides firefighters and engines, the team is using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, track vehicles and military assets. "We have resources on this fire from an alphabet soup of agencies," he said.
Springs Deputy Fire Chief Tommy Smith credited some gains Wednesday to prior mitigation around homes, but both he and Bach noted there was little anyone could do on Tuesday when, as Bach said, "jumped two ridges" in a matter of minutes.
"This is a firestorm of epic proportions," Bach said, "racing down the down slope. It's an act of God. I don't know how else to put it."
"Yes," he added, "we've got a lot of loss of property, but we've got a lot that we saved." He also said mitigation needs to happen city-wide to protect against fires in years to come.
Bach also said he and his wife were working to set up a program that would provide help to the families who experienced losses in the blaze, with individuals and corporations clamoring to make donations.
"You're going to see in coming days an unprecedented effort to help those fellow citizens hurt by this," he said.
El Paso County's Citizen Service Center is closed indefinitely, but services are being provided in other locations. Details of where those services are available is here.