Black Forest fire evacuees - people and their pets - can receive help from the following organizations.
- Citizens seeking information about the fire, including evacuation information, can call 444-8300.
- The Peak Vista community health center located at Falcon Elementary School, 12050 Falcon Highway, Peyton, 344-6247, is offering free help to those with respiratory issues. Those of all ages will be seen, even those with no connection to the district. Insurance is not required, a spokesperson for the district said.
- Evacuees seeking a place to stay can head to a Red Cross shelters:
- Palmer Ridge High School, 19255 Frontage Road, Monument, 867-8600
- Elbert County Fairgrounds, 95 Ute Ave., Kiowa, (303) 621-3152
(The shelter at New Life Church was closed because of smoke conditions.)
Palmer Ridge High is accepting pets of evacuees staying there.
- Soldiers and families dislocated by the fire can find shelter at Fort Carson's Youth Center, Building 1518, 5950 Ware St., 526-2794. The center can house up to 100 people. Those in need of shelter will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The Youth Center also will accept pets.
- To locate friends and loved ones, or to register yourself as safe and well, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell.
- Pikes Peak YMCA locations are welcoming Black Forest fire evacuees, frontline responders and Colorado Springs residents with no air conditioning who are unable to open their windows to eight of their facilities to "cool down, refresh and shower at no charge." This is on a space-available basis.
The YMCA at Meridian Ranch is closed due to the fire.
Those wishing to use YMCA facilities should bring identification with them and be prepared to show it at the door.
The following facilities are open to evacuees and the like:
- Tri-Lakes, 17250 Jackson Creek Parkway
- Briargate, 4025 Family Place
- Garden Ranch, 2380 Montebello Drive West
- Downtown, 207 North Nevada Avenue
- Southeast, 2190 Jet Wing Drive
- Fountain Valley, 301 East Iowa Ave.
- Cottonwood Creek Recreational Center, 3920 Dublin Blvd.
- Memorial Park Recreational Center, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
For additional details and updates, visit www.ppymca.org.
- The DoubleTree by Hilton, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 576-8900, is offering reduced room rates for evacuees and will accept pets.
- Small business owners can get help with insurance and disaster relief from the Small Business Development Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 667-3803, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.coloradosbdc.org/coloradosprings.
- Poor Richard's Restaurant, 324 + North Tejon St., is offering complimentary pizza and fountain drinks to all evacuees and firefighters affected by the Black Forest fire, according to the restaurant's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PoorRichardsDowntown. Those wishing to take advantage of the offer should inform the employee at the counter of their status to receive their free lunch or dinner. The back play area is available for children to play in. The restaurant is open until 9 p.m.
Health and wellness
- Front Range air quality was currently considered "unhealthy for sensitive groups" as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services.
To check for updates, visit www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx.
- Those feeling stressed out due to local fires might consider speaking with a friend, journaling, getting and giving hugs, and watching their media intake, according to Memorial Health System.
The local mental health crisis line is 635-7000.
For more mental health tips from Memorial, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MemorialCOS.
Animals and pets
- Rocky Mountain Equine, 481-2749, is matching requests with resources for those needing to move large animals.
- Colorado K-9 Acres in Falcon, 683-8640, can take dogs, chickens and goats, but can't take horses.
- Bear Creek Veterinary Care, 960 Pico Point, 685-1177, has room for eight cats and five dogs as of 10 a.m. Wednesday. Call to check availability. "There is no charge, and we will keep their pets as long as the evacuation lasts," said the clinic's Stephanie Fernyak via email.
- The Norris-Penrose Events Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, 635-1101, was accepting horses from the fire. The center is FULL.
- The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, 610 Abbot Lane, 473-1741, is accepting cats, dogs and other "small critters" from the evacuated area only.
- Rampart Kennels, 5977 Templeton Gap Road, 591-0066, was providing free board for dogs and cats of families affected by the fire. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, it was FULL.
- The Elbert County Fairgrounds, 95 Ute Ave., Kiowa, (303) 621-3152, is accepting large animals.
- Woodmen Kennels, 740 Dublin Road, 598-4154, is accepting cats and dogs of fire evacuees Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Aavondale Pet Care Center, 17140 Jones Road, Peyton, 683-4617, and neighboring acreages are taking all types of animals, including reptiles, birds, goats and horses. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, it was ALMOST FULL.
Concerned community members can help those affected by the fire in the following ways:
- The Salvation Army of Colorado Springs and El Paso County is collecting water and cash, said Mary Whatcott, spokesperson for the organization. Please do not bring any other items, she said. Water can be brought to Salvation Army offices at 908 Yuma St. To make a monetary donation via credit card, visit www.tsacs.org or call 636-3891. Checks can be dropped off at, or mailed to, 910 Yuma St.
- The Pikes Peak American Red Cross is reporting that it has adequate supplies and volunteers. The best thing to do, according to the organization's Facebook page, is to give financially at www.redcross.org (click "DONATE") or text "redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, which will be added to your next phone bill. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS to give via credit card.
- Those wishing to donate nonperishable food items for fire victims in Black Forest and Ca?n City can bring items to area Care and Share Food Bank facilities on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 2605 Preamble Point, Colorado Springs, 528-1247; and 100 Greenhorn Drive, Pueblo, 296-6995.
Donors are asked not to bring water or sports drinks because those can be easily obtained by the truckload through corporate partners, said Shannon Coker, community relations director for the nonprofit.
- To donate $10 to Care and Share, text "donate" to 41010. The donation will appear on your next phone bill. Or you can make a donation online at www.careandshare.org. Indicate that the donation is for "fire response."
- To make a donation of any amount to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund, launched Tuesday to benefit nonprofits providing local disaster relief, visit www.ppcf.org/products/emergency-relief. The fund is modeled off of last year's Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund but will have more flexibility, according to the website.
- Battle Bumms, a local organization that provides cloth-diaper starter sets to military families in need, is collecting diapers, wipes, bottles, infant formula, personal hygiene products, blankets, clothes, toys, nonperishable food items and pet food at 1302 Osgood Road from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily "until everyone can return home and the fire is out." For updates, visit www.facebook.com/BattleBumms.
- Those wishing to donate to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region's emergency support fund, which helps families and their animals during natural disasters, can do so at www.hsppr.org/disasterdonation. Funds can be designated for the Black Forest fire via drop-down box on the donation form. Those wishing to donate specific items or volunteer can visit www.hsppr.org for an up-to-date list of needs. - Monetary donations are needed to support the animals being housed at the Norris-Penrose Events Center. Donations -- which will go toward electricity, water and more hay -- can be sent to Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation, c/o Rob Alexander, Stockmens Bank, 601 N. Nevada Ave., 80903. The foundation is a nonprofit organization.
Sky Sox pitch in
Due to smoky conditions at Security Service Field from the Black Forest fire, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox announced that fans with tickets to Wednesday's 12:35 p.m. game against Salt Lake may attend or exchange their tickets for any future 2013 regular season home game (excluding July 4) regardless of whether Wednesday's game is played or not.
As of 11 a.m., the game is still scheduled. Look to gazette.com for more updates.
In addition, the Sky Sox are offering free tickets to all displaced by the fires for both today's matinee and Thursday's 7:05 p.m. game. Evacuees should stop by the Sky Sox box office and inform the ticket window employee they are an evacuee and they will receive free tickets.
Also, the Sky Sox will accept donations at the ballpark of nonperishable food items such as canned and boxed meals, soups, cereals and snack items to assist in relief efforts. Everyone who donates nonperishable food items at the ballpark will receive a free upper reserved seat voucher for any 2013 home game (except July 4, pending availability).