Filed under: maps | Tags: Anglestone, Blodgett Drive, Colorado Springs, fire fighting, forest fire, Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs fire, Mount Saint Francis, Needlecone Lane, Rampart Reservoir, Sawback, Stanley Reservoir, USAFA, Waldo Canyon Fire, Woodland Park, Woodmen Road
I listened to the fire fight most of the day yesterday [Wednesday June 27, a day after 300-plus houses burned]. The fire made a bull rush on the houses above and west of Woodmen Road, around a street called Blodgett Drive and its associated cul-de-sacs, a little neighborhood placed to burn vigorously at the extreme northwest point of Colorado Springs.
The fire “flashed over” and many of the houses started to burn. Without quick action by multiple fire crews from all over the state, dexterously coordinated by radio and face-to-face meetings, the houses would have burned to their foundations.
After its big charge the fire kept up a cat-and-mouse game with the fire crews for the rest of the day, sneaking up on the houses through the brush. The situation was especially tense up on Angelstone, where five luxury homes sit in an exclusive little enclave hanging above the Blodgett Drive neighborhood. Fire smoldered on the hillside all day and into the night, and into the next day, as crews tended the houses with one easily blocked escape route.
The photo shows heavily wooded area behind Blodgett Drive and the houses perched on Angelstone. Woodmen Road is below.
At some point fire started in the open area west of Mount Saint Francis, below Woodmen Road. Fire fighters had already identified the nearby houses as a problem spot. The houses along Needlecone Lane and Sawback Trail were lined up along a gully that would “go up like a chimney” and so would be “very hard to defend,” according to radio traffic. But they jumped on it in the open area and put it out.
Screenshot shows the houses along Needlecone Lane and Sawback Trail below Woodmen Road. Mount Saint Francis is just off screen to the northeast.
If you live in this neighborhood, the fire fighters saved your house yesterday. Today is a different day.