April 3, 2014 Updated: April 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm
The city of Colorado Springs will hold two public meetings at the end of April, one in the southwest part of town to discuss fire danger and mitigation and the other to talk about a flood-control project in the Camp Creek watershed.
The fire meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. April 24 at Cheyenne Mountain High School. City spokeswoman Kim Melchor said topics will include overall preparedness, evacuation plans, mitigation, insurance and where to get information in an emergency.
City, county and other officials have stressed that the Wildland Urban Interface - where the forest meets the population - in the southwest part of the city is ripe for a catastrophic wildfire. Acres of unmitigated public and private land combine with steep canyons and residential areas that are difficult to navigate in case of wildfire.
The final designs for a $37 million project to reconstruct Camp Creek from Garden of the Gods Park to the Pleasant Valley neighborhood will be the subject at the other meeting on April 29, according to Tim Mitros, the city's development review and stormwater manager. That get-together will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Coronado High School cafeteria. Mitros said there will be an "open house" format with refreshments, followed by the project presentation.
Residents who live near Camp Creek gathered in late February to share their input on three proposed designs for the channel reconstruction. Each carried a price tag of more than $30 million and each featured a potential sediment detention pond on the east end of the Garden of the Gods Park. Mitros said that most residents came away from the February work session favoring a design that features a wider natural channel along 31st Street, complete with greenery, large stones and a bike path next to the creek.