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Gazette Premium Content Support remains for those affected by the Black Forest fire

by The Gazette - Updated: June 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Much support remains for residents affected by the Black Forest fire that started June 11, as well as for first responders who were involved. As of Friday, the fire was fully contained, 509 homes were lost, 14,280 acres burned and two people died. Many organizations are offering shelter, food and other assistance where donations and volunteers are needed.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

- Residents seeking information about the fire, including evacuation information, can call 719-444-8300.

- The Relief and Recovery Guide, produced by Pikes Peak United Way 2-1-1, is a comprehensive source for information on the Black Forest fire recovery resources and relief agencies. It can be viewed at goo.gl/K6zFL and is updated as new information becomes available.

 

SHELTERS

-Those with DOD ID cards should check in with the Peterson Personnel Support for Contingency Operations Team at the lodging office, Building 1042.

The shelter can accommodate up to 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis. The shelter cannot accept pets; however, it has a list of base personnel who will provide temporary shelter for pets.

Cots, linens and showers will be provided. Personal weapons are not permitted.

- Foster families: Hope & Home, a state licensed foster-care agency, has foster families willing to take in foster families from other agencies who were evacuated due to the fire. Evacuees are asked to call Hope & Home at 719-575-9887 and ask for Vanessa Beenenga or email vbeenenga@hopeandhome.org. After hours, call 719-661-6722.

 

RESOURCES

- For information on the status of homes visit bit.ly/14wdoOR to view a preliminary home assessment document.

- The county's Disaster Assistance Center is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the El Paso County Citizens Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd., 444-8300.

The center brings together representatives of major insurance companies, El Paso County Public Health, health care providers, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, utilities providers, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Office of Emergency Management, grief counselors and local nonprofits.

The county is expecting to open a satellite office in the Black Forest area, officials announced Tuesday, but a location has not been determined as of Thursday. For more information on the center, visit bit.ly/OZGako.

- The Red Cross is in the recovery process, providing food, water, snacks, clean-up materials, safety masks and information at Black Forest entry points near the corners of Shoup Road and Highway 83, Burgess and Black Forest roads as well as at School in the Woods at 12002 Vollmer Rd. Red Cross nurses and emotional support are available at the checkpoints and at the Disaster Assistance Center.

- The Salvation Army has a booth at the county's Disaster Assistance Center. Anyone affected by the fire who needs assistance with utilities, food or housing should stop by the booth, said spokeswoman Mary Whatcott. They have also put $50,000 toward Walmart gift cards.

- YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region is welcoming first responders and those affected by the Black Forest fire to its facilities to "cool down, refresh and shower at no charge" on a space-available basis. Those wishing to use YMCA facilities should bring identification:

- Tri-Lakes, 17250 Jackson Creek Parkway

- Briargate, 4025 Family Place

- Garden Ranch, 2380 Montebello Drive W

- Downtown, 207 N. Nevada Ave.

- Southeast, 2190 Jet Wing Drive

- Fountain Valley, 301 E. Iowa Ave

- Cottonwood Creek Recreational Center, 3920 Dublin Blvd

- Memorial Park Recreational Center, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave

For more information, visit ppymca.org.

- Mercy's Gate, formerly known as Northern Churches Care, is offering assistance with housing, gas, food and counseling as well as Walmart gift cards to those affected by the Black Forest fire. Visit 4285 N. Academy Boulevard. from 4-7 p.m. Mondays; 9 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Thursdays; 1-4 p.m. Thursdays; and 9 a.m.-noon Fridays. For more information about their services for those impacted by the Black Forest fire call 719-277-7470 ext. 183. For updates on their assistance offered, visit facebook.com/mercysgate.

- Challenger Learning Center of Colorado is still offering scholarships for elementary and middle school students affected by the Black Forest fire to participate in summer camps June 24-28. Registration is required. Call 719-598-9755.

- Tri-Lakes Cares, 235 North Jefferson St. in Monument, is offering financial assistance to those affected by the Black Forest fire on a first-come, first-serve basis. Names A-K: contact Liz, 481-4864 x102; L-Z: Kim, 481-4864 x112.

 

USEFUL INFO

- CenturyLink is offering free emergency call forwarding to customers affected by the Black Forest fire for their homes and offices. To activate the service, call 1-800-573-1311.

- 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, sbdc@uccs.edu. For information, visit coloradosbdc.org/coloradosprings.

- Health insurance company Cigna is lifting certain prescription refill restrictions in El Paso and Huerfano counties through July 27. People covered by a Cigna health plan in those counties may refill their prescriptions ahead of their usual "refill too soon" restrictions.

Customers with questions are encouraged to call the customer service phone number on their Cigna ID card or 1-800-244-6224.

- Tricare is offering emergency prescription refills to customers in El Paso, Fremont and Huerfano counties through July 11. To get an emergency refill, take your prescription bottle to any Tricare retail network pharmacy. To locate one, call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303.

- UnitedHealth Group asks subscribers who need early prescription refills to call customer care at the number located on the back of their card or 866-633-2446, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. Anyone who would like emotional support can call 1-866-342-6892 toll free.

- The Black Forest Slash and Mulch site, located east side of Herring Road just south of Shoup Road, reopened Thursday, June 20. The site accepts tree and bush trimmings (including charred), needles and pine cones and needles. Tree branch limits are 6 feet long and 8 inches in diameter. People can load free mulch by themselves during normal business hours: Tuesday and Thursday 5-7:30 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays noon-4 p.m. For more info visit www.bfslash.org.

 

FREE SERVICES

- Tucanos, 3294 Cinema Point, is offering a free lunch Sunday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those affected by the Black Forest and Royal Gorge fires. Reservations are requested and will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Upward of 1,000 guests can be fed. Call 719-597-3800.

- The Women's Resource Agency in The Citadel mall, 750 Citadel Drive E., Suite 3128, 719-471-3170, is offering free clothes to all women affected by the fire. They are open until 4 p.m. on Friday and on Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

 

HELP FOR ANIMALS

- Bear Creek Veterinary Care, 960 Pico Point, is taking dogs less than 30 pounds, as well as cats. It is offering free daycare as well as overnight stays on a case-by-case basis. Call 685-1177 to check availability. "There is no charge, and we will keep their pets as long as the evacuation lasts," Stephanie Fernyak of the clinic said via email.

- 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. The society closed its Palmer Ridge High School animal shelter on Monday, and remaining animals were moved to Abbot Lane.

- The Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, can accept horses and other large animals until further notice. The center sheltered 15 horses Tuesday.

- Avondale Pet Care Center, 17140 Jones Road in Peyton, and neighboring acreages are taking all types of animals, including reptiles, birds, goats and horses. Call to check availability at 719-683-4617. Long-term care for dogs is available.

- The Black Forest Feed Donations and Boarding Coordination group on Facebook is available to help evacuated owners of large animals with boarding, feed and transportation needs contact donors at facebook.com/groups/BFDBC.

 

LOCATING LOST ANIMALS

- Those who have lost pets and other animals due to the Black Forest fire are advised to call the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region's lost-and-found line at 719-473-1741, ext. 8763.

Staff and volunteers are working to match reports of lost animals with stray and stranded animals in the burn areas.

Those with lost animals can view animals the humane society has found at hsppr.org/lost.

 

MAIL

- All mail is deliverable in Falcon and Peyton (80831), Gleneagle in Colorado Springs (80921), Ellicott (80808) and Monument (80132).

- ZIP code 80908, at the heart of Black Forest, had about 750 addresses that could not be delivered to as of Thursday because of road closures.

Residents are encouraged to check their boxes for daily and accumulated mail before going to the Briargate Station, 8585 Criterion Drive, where mail for that area is being held. Mail there can be picked up at the side door in the lobby between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Info: 719-265-4409.

- The Black Forest Retail Postal Unit at the Forest Plaza Market reopened Monday.

- The Elbert Post Office, 80106, which relocated operations to Kiowa, has returned to its building.

- FedEx and UPS were holding packages with delivery addresses in the mandatory evacuation zone.

Contact FedEx at 1-800-463-3339 or fedex.com/us/customersupport/tracking/index.html. FedEx would like a tracking number, but they might be able to identify packages by name and address.

Contact UPS at 1-800-742-5877 or ups.com/tracking.html. A tracking number is needed.

 

AIR QUALITY & HEALTH

- Front Range air quality was deemed moderate to "unhealthy for sensitive groups" with poor visibility in recent days, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services. For updates, visit colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx.

- Those feeling stressed out due to local fires might consider speaking with a friend, writing a journal, getting and giving hugs and limiting their media intake, according to Memorial Health System. The local mental health crisis line is 719-635-7000. For more mental health tips: facebook.com/MemorialCOS.

- Those who desire to talk to a professional AspenPointe crisis counselor can call 719-572-6100. For more information, visit aspenpointe.org.

- Residents affected by the fire can get a tetanus vaccination, free water testing kits and public health information at the Public Health Convenience Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday at The Classical Academy's East Campus, 12201 Cross Peak View. Services will be provided while supplies last.

 

HOW TO HELP

- For a list of places to donate and volunteer, visit helpcoloradonow.org.

- The Salvation Army of Colorado Springs and El Paso County is collecting water, sports drinks, snacks and monetary donations.

To make a donation, take food and send or drop off checks at 908 Yuma St. The facility is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. or visit imsalvationarmy.org, 719-636-3891. Those interested in volunteering can sign up at salvationarmypikespeak.wordpress.com/volunteer.

- The Pikes Peak American Red Cross is requesting financial donations at redcross.org (click "donate); 1-800-RED-CROSS; or text "redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, which will be added to your phone bill.

- 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 ppcf.org/products/emergency-relief. The fund is modeled off last year's Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund but will have more flexibility.

- 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 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 hsppr.org.

- The Stockmens Bank, 601 N. Nevada Avenue, is accepting monetary donations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for feed, vet supplies, water and other operating costs for animals housed at the Norris-Penrose Event Center. Checks should be made payable to "Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation" in care of Robert M. Alexander.

- In an effort to provide support to families who have been affected by the recent fires Panera Bread Cafe customers are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food donations at any of the five Panera Bread locations in Colorado Springs. Each Panera Bread cafe in Colorado Springs will have a drop off box for people to bring their donations. Panera Bread will donate $1 for every 10 pounds of food donated to Care and Share Food Bank (up to $10,000). Panera Bread will donate all items dropped off to the Care and Share Food Bank

- Mercy's Gate is seeking financial donations to help provide fire victims with emergency financial assistance, gas vouchers, food, gift cards and more.

To make a monetary donation: mercysgatecs.org or send check to Mercy's Gate, P.O. Box 26416, Colorado Springs, CO 80936. Food and gift card donations can be made at the organization's food pantry at Calvary United Methodist Church, 4210 Austin Bluffs Parkway; call ahead, 719-277-7470.

- Tr-Lakes Cares, 235 North Jefferson St. in Monument, is still accepting items such as pancake mix, canned foods, juice and cleaning products. Financial contributions are also accepted. Their extended hours June 21-28: Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Monday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 481-4864 to sign up for a volunteer shift.

Tri-Lakes Cares is also accepting clothes for Black Forest fire victims. Clothes can be dropped off next door at Hangers, 245 Jefferson St.

- The Black Forest Slash and Mulch site, located east side of Herring Road just south of Shoup Road, is accepting cash donations for the Black Forest Slash and Mulch Committee (SAMCOM). People can drop off food items and checks for Care & Share on Tuesday and Thursday 5-7:30 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays noon-4 p.m. For more info visit www.bfslash.org.

 

OTHER PLACES to DONATE

- The Sky Sox, 4385 Tutt Blvd. is still accepting nonperishable food items such as canned and boxed meals, soups, cereals and snack items to assist in relief efforts through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Half of general admission sales for their Heroes Classic game on Saturday, June 22, will go to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation.

At the game, Care and Share will accept food donations, Springs Rescue Mission will take clothing, hygiene, and home and garden goods, and Pikes Peak Community Foundation will accept cash donations between 4-7:30 p.m.

- 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.

- The Space Foundation Discovery Center, 4425 Arrowswest Drive, is a collection point for Care and Share Food Bank donations. The center will take donations 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday until further notice. Donors receive a coupon for $2 off admission. Contact the center at 719-576-8000.

- The Yellow Cab Co. of Colorado Springs, 4625 Town Center Drive, is a collection point for Care and Share Food Bank donations until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21.

- The Colorado Springs World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd, is a collection point for Care and Share Food Bank donations until 5:30 p.m. Friday. June 21. Call 477-2100 with questions.

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