The Waldo Canyon Fire was one of the largest natural disasters in Colorado History. Whether in large or small ways, the fire affected us all and will continue to have a long-term, transformative effect on our community.
The Waldo Canyon Fire burned through the region’s hottest days in the summer of 2012. Before it was fully contained on July 10th the fire resulted in: over 32,000 evacuations, the loss of 18,247 acres, the destruction of 347 homes, damage to hundreds of others, an untold economic impact to local business and a devastating blow to our collective sense of safety and security. Most tragically, the fire also resulted in the deaths of two residents in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood.
In the aftermath of the fire our community responded in unprecedented ways. Donations of food, money and volunteers flooded to local support agencies and scores of residents waving flags and homemade thank-you signs lined city streets to honor first responders. As Mayor Steve Bach noted, “The values of our citizens were reflected in so many selfless acts of kindness, generosity and respect for those who lost so much.” This exhibit is dedicated to all those touched by the Waldo Canyon Fire. Our hope is that no matter how you experienced this disaster part of your story is reflected within.
As the anniversary of the Waldo Canyon Fire drew near, our community was faced with yet another natural disaster. The devastating Black Forest Fire of June 2013 destroyed over 500 homes, burned over 14,000 acres and tragically claimed two lives. While once again our firefighting resources have been tested – our commitment as a community to care for our neighbors is as strong as ever. Lessons learned during the Waldo Canyon Fire were immediately implemented to fight the Black Forest Fire and organize relief in its aftermath. We are grateful for the bravery and determination of our first responders and their heroic actions during both of these disasters.
Leah Davis Witherow, CSPM Curator of History