City of Colorado Springs / Fire / News

Academy supports City's Wildfire Recovery Efforts
Thursday, September 27, 2012

More than 400 U.S. Air Force Academy cadets, faculty, and staff will support another set of erosion control projects Sunday, aimed at speeding recovery from the Waldo Canyon Wildfire, as well as continue mitigation efforts to protect against future wildfires.

Following the highly successful wildfire mitigation chipping event in conjunction with the Colorado Springs Fire Department on August 26 that helped cut, gather, haul, stack, and chip over 100 tons of burned and combustible materials in the Mountain Shadows area, approximately 200 cadets, faculty, and staff will return there on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to do more.  The Academy group will assist the City of Colorado Springs Forestry Division in removing burnt Gamble Oak, and seeding and spreading wood chips in the Mountain Shadows Open Space.  The Academy will also assist a private contractor funded by Colorado Springs Together to remove burnt vegetation in the privately owned open space area behind Wilson Road.

Another 200 cadets will be executing recovery work in the City’s Blodgett Peak Open Space, west of the Peregrine neighborhood. The cadets will assist City Forestry by reseeding steep, difficult terrain and performing erosion control work by establishing log and hay barriers and spreading hay.  A majority of these cadets are freshmen from the Academy’s Class of 2106, which reported to the Academy to begin their basic training while the wildfire was still burning. Cadets from the upper three classes and additional faculty and staff will serve as team leads for the Class of 2016.

“We are thrilled to have the support from our neighbors at the Air Force Academy on this important project,” says City Forester Paul Smith.  “There is a lot of work to be done in these open spaces after the fire, and having the hard work of 400 cadets, faculty and staff gives us a huge leap forward in the rehabilitation process.”

For all projects, volunteer work will begin at 8 am on Sept. 30 and continue until about 4 p.m.  (No additional volunteers are needed.)

Colorado Springs Together, the nonprofit organization founded to facilitate the rebuilding process after the Waldo Canyon Fire, is assisting with coordinating resources for the event, including soft drinks and water from Care and Share, and tarps and tools from Ace Hardware and Lowe’s.


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