Rising from the ruin 

Street Smarts

The Waldo Canyon Fire put the Pikes Peak region back in the world's headlines. But locally, it also heightened a sense of community that may not make it into the New York Times.

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Mark Lewis of Old Colorado City is an illustrator/animator

How did the Waldo Canyon Fire affect your view of Colorado Springs? I'm disappointed in the ideological hostility to public land, public employees, public unions — to public anything — on the part of our local leaders, but I'm proud of the way our public employees showed up every day, putting in long hours in difficult, dangerous situations.

Is there an aspect of the fire that didn't get the attention it deserves? These fires are another warning about global warming, but the editorialists of our local [daily] paper deny any such thing, even with 10 percent of the state on fire.

What was the biggest consequence of the Waldo Canyon Fire for you? I ride [a bicycle] and work out every day, but the smoke got too thick to do that. It was hard even to sleep.

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Charlie Paterson of the west side is in construction

Given the events of the past two weeks, would you live in a wooded area now? Live wherever you like, but be aware of the risks.

What's the next big story to come from the fire? How the rebuilding process shakes out for people who lost their homes.

What impacted you most about the fire? We live in a pre-evacuation area, so we had to gather stuff up and think about how to get out quickly. My first thing in our take-it-with-us pile was my skis.

Is there anything about the fire that wasn't adequately covered? If anything, it was over-covered. The media was all over it to the exclusion of everything else.

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Kristen Shumaker of Cheyenne Cañon is a student and dog-walker

Did the Waldo Canyon Fire affect your overall view of Colorado Springs? The way the community took in animals and donated food to the workers made me like Colorado Springs even more. It made me hyper-aware, though, of how vulnerable you are, living in an area susceptible to wildfire.

What's been the biggest consequence of the fire for you, personally? We're making more sure that our property is mitigated of foliage and anything that can fuel a fire.

Name something good that came of this. The kindness and sense of community it brought out in us. There are a lot of people who care. This may be an even better place now.


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