Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content WALDO CANYON FIRE: Smoke near Blodgett Peak holds up containment

TOM ROEDER Updated: July 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

Smoke spotted near Blodgett Peak Saturday morning held up a declaration that two-week-old Waldo Canyon Fire is fully contained.

The smoke died down, but Forest Service officials say they want to be certain the most destructive fire in Colorado's history fire is out before they declare it to be 100 percent contained.

"They want 24 hours without smoke before they call it," said Forest Service spokesman Jack Horner.

The blaze remained at 98 percent containment Saturday night and could be declared fully contained on Sunday, Horner aid.

The puffs of smoke on the fire's north end were spotted from the air early Saturday. That and a smoking tree were the only signs of fire activity within the 18,247 acre blaze after a night of steady, if light, rainfall.

Rain returned to Waldo canyon Saturday afternoon, but didn't come as a downpour, easing flooding concerns, Horner said.

The Forest Service had 117 firefighters on the line Saturday, down from a peak of nearly 1,600 earlier in the week. The smaller contingent worked to mop up  Waldo Canyon's last embers, begin restoration of the blackened forest and take measures to prevent flash flooding in the burned area.


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