Deserves a front seat in heaven

When I read the June 20 article about the four dogs that died in the Black Forest fire, and saw the picture of their graves and Darrell Fortner weeping, I cried, too.

I think the firefighter who buried the dogs in such a caring way deserves a front seat in heaven. The love and compassion he demonstrated was not only for the dogs that died such a horrible death, but for their grieving family, too. He will not be forgotten.

Monica A. Kinnaman, Colorado Springs


What are we going to do about it?

Several letters to the editor have deplored people choosing to live in areas rife with forest fires and the penalties others must pay for that decision. The state of Colorado is rife with forest fires and/or grass fires, yet we all choose to live here. Why? Because we love the beauty, the tenacity of the people, and the wildlife.

We chose to live in Black Forest because we were tired of living in a neighborhood where we could reach out our bedroom window and touch our neighbor's bedroom window. Twenty-six years ago, we could buy 5 acres of land relatively cheaply and could build a house that we could afford. This was our retirement home. So we moved to a higher altitude with crisp air, 5 acres of land, and great neighbors. And we'd rather have a mortgage on a house in that area than in the city.

From indications Sheriff Maketa has given, this Black Forest fire was man-made, not nature made. There is nothing anyone, even the urbanites, can do if a fire is deliberately started in a drought stricken area. All of the Colorado wildfires since 2002 have been "man-made."

So what are we, as Colorado citizens, going to do about it? Quit tossing your lit cigarettes out the car window. If you don't want your car to smell like smoke, don't smoke in it. But don't burn my house down because you don't want to dirty your car. Quit playing with fireworks and quit shooting guns where hot ammo can set off tender-box grass.

We are one of the fortunate ones in the Black Forest Fire area. Our house is safe, and we only lost a little grass. That will grow back. We can't say enough good things and show enough appreciation for our firefighters and the terrific job that Sheriff Maketa did in controlling this disaster.

David and Tina Routhier, Black Forest


Not enough manpower to put out Hell

The Waldon Canyon and Black Forest fires have been devastating to our community, not to mention those who have lost property, pets, and most severely, their lives. The two catastrophes, occurring 50 weeks from each other, have shown the courage and stamina of our fire, police, sheriff and other emergency departments. But with each disaster came comments from ignorant people spouting off about how unprepared our first responders are to handle these emergencies.

To those who complain, consider this: Our wasteful federal and state governments see fit to give away cellphones to people who choose not to work. On March 28 of this year, the Washington Times reported that under Obama's administration the food stamp program has increased 70 percent. Wouldn't it be nice if we would stop giving away dollars to lazy people and pour our financial resources into buying hundreds of firefighting tankers, other necessary equipment, and personnel?

To those who say we didn't respond fast enough, you may be right. There was not enough manpower and equipment available to extinguish Hell before it ran its rapid course. If however, we had multiple supplied teams, maybe Waldo and Black Forest wouldn't have been so tragic.

Terry Canipe, Colorado Springs