Fire & Environment | News | Colorado Springs Gazette

Danger at our Doorstep


Disasters are a very real part of life in Colorado. Things here burn. And flood. And they slide down mountainsides. And once in a while, things shake. We even get the occasional twister. This special section shows how locals can prepare for disasters that can strike in the Pikes Peak region.

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Waldo Canyon burn scar poses flooding threat along U.S. 24

Life along Ute Pass has settled into a new normal nearly three years after the Waldo Canyon fire, but part of that normal is a waiting game. Since the Colorado Department of...

Disaster Frequently Asked Questions

Get your answers to frequently asked questions in the wake of the floods and wildfires in the region

Flying W chuck-wagon dinners to return to Colorado Springs

The Flying W Ranch plans to rebuild on its old ranch site that was ravaged by the Waldo Canyon fire and once again serve its chuck-wagon dinners, Executive Director Aaron...

Cascade residents live in fear of being washed away below Waldo Canyon burn scar

Tom Harris never sleeps when it rains in Cascade. He listens to the rain and knows that if he can hear the water coming down the mountain, it's too late. "Two weeks ago,...

Royal Gorge continues comeback from wildfire with opening of tramway, theater

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park's effort to rebound from a devastating 2013 fire will take a major leap Saturday as it opens a new $4 million tramway and reopens its Plaza Theater.

Volunteer organizations prep for disasters, address strengths and weaknesses

Volunteers are the driving force behind disaster relief and recovery operations across the state, making recruitment, training and preparation an ongoing effort.

Danger Doorstep Feature Video

Fire News view all

  • Red flag warning called for Tuesday in El Paso County, but relief could soon be here

    A red flag warning has been called for most of El Paso County after noon Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Pueblo. The warning, which is issued when relatively low humidity, dry conditions and gusting winds can increase fire danger, is from 1 and 8 p.m. and covers all but a small portion of the western part of the county....

  • Wildfires burn in Pike National Forest and near Durango

    JEFFERSON — Firefighters are working to contain two wildfires burning in Colorado. Fire managers expect to have a 250-acre wildfire burning near Kenosha Pass fully contained by Monday evening. The U.S. Forest Service says 40 firefighters are working to build hotspots and build containment lines on the Snyder Creek 2 Fire, which is burning in...

  • Teller County grass fire 'believed' to be caused by cigarette

    The Western Hills grass fire that grew to about 100 acres and forced a dozen families from their homes on Tuesday is "believed" to be caused by a discarded cigarette, the Teller County Sheriff's Office said in a press release Friday morning. Considered accidental, the fire began Tuesday afternoon with firefighters responding from Northeast...

  • Grass fires quickly extinguished on S. Nevada Ave. in Colorado Springs

    Two small grass fires reported just after 11 a.m. Thursday along South Nevada Avenue near Lake Avenue were quickly extinguished, according to tweets from the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Emergency vehicles briefly blocked the right southbound lane of Nevada. - Check back at from more on this story.

  • Teller County fire contained, but crews keeping eye on hot spots

    The remaining Teller County families who were displaced by Tuesday's grass fire on Western Hills were allowed to return home later in the evening, El Paso County Sheriff Mike Ensminger said Wednesday. At least a dozen nearby homes were evacuated Tuesday afternoon after the fire grew to about 100 acres. A handful of the families were asked...

Flood News view all

  • Legislative roundup: Bill to protect municipalities from water rights violations moves to Colorado Senate

    DENVER - A bill to protect municipalities from claims of water rights violations over stormwater detention facilities and wildfire mitigation efforts passed committee Wednesday and is headed to the Senate floor. Senate Bill 212, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, was drafted in response to a letter to Colorado Springs Utilities and other entities in...

  • Lack of votes holding up bill that could stave off water lawsuit for El Paso County

    DENVER - It's a "no-brainer" to pass a law this session that protects fire mitigation efforts in El Paso County from the threat of water rights enforcement, said Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling. But his bill is facing an uphill battle. "We're still trying to find a compromise. I don't know whether we are going to get there or not,"...

  • Water basins could have costly legal ramifications for El Paso County

    More than two dozen El Paso County water basins that hold back flood debris and ensure local water quality are caught up in an unforeseen battle over water rights, putting the basins at the mercy of state lawmakers. Colorado Springs utility and stormwater managers, along with nonprofits charged with managing recovery in the Waldo Canyon fire...

  • Lawmakers clash with FEMA over Colorado flood debt letters

    WASHINGTON — Technically it's called a "recoupment" but U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is going with "clawback" to describe what the government has demanded of 255 households that received federal money after Colorado's 2013 floods. In letters mailed as early as November 2013, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has insisted that these residents...

  • US to spend $57 million more on stream damage from '13 flood

    DENVER — The U.S. Agriculture Department said Thursday it will spend another $57 million on recovery work on Colorado rivers and streams that were damaged by the 2013 flood. Most of the work will be done in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties, along with other projects in Jefferson, Morgan and Weld counties, officials said. Projects can...

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