Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2012 00:08
Colorado Springs has its share of dry seasons and unpredictable weather. This summer, the record-breaking heat and lack of rain combined to produce the most prolific fire season in the history of the state. The Waldo Canyon Fire left many students, along with their families and friends, stunned by the local tragedy. Others were only able to look past the disaster and offer help to the community.
Were you or any family members affected by the incident?
I work at a sporting goods store, so I was mostly affected afterwards helping people get some supplies.
Did you volunteer with any support groups?
I was not able to volunteer, but I did donate probably $200 worth of Gatorade to the firefighters.
Do you think the emergency response time was handled at a reasonable pace?
I think it took longer than it should have to get a lot of help in, but once they did get all that help needed, it went pretty well.
What are your feelings towards the recent event?
I think that they could have contained it quite a bit faster or evacuated people a lot sooner. A lot of my good friends were getting evacuated when the fire was literally burning down the backyard fence. I think they could have handled the evacuations quite a bit more swiftly.
Were your friends able to recover anything?
One of my good friends had her house burn to the ground. All of her possessions she has ever owned. And I mean, insurance pays [for] that stuff, but insurance doesn’t pay for pictures and memories.
How do you feel about the community’s response?
I saw a lot of photos in the newspapers of firemen with all their gear going up the incline. There are actually a couple students that are volunteer firemen here on campus, and I know they helped with that. People definitely helped as much as they could.
What are your thoughts on the Waldo Canyon Fire?
I thought the whole incident was traumatic. I was approaching my lease expiring at my apartment down at Sunset Creek, which was on the fringe of evacuation territory. It was emotionally overwhelming, just trying to stay [focused] on 15 credits on half the time.
Did this disrupt your summer classes?
Yes, I would say all my classes got affected. It took away several [days] of studying and focus away from tests that were coming up. Fortunately, all of my professors were really understanding. They gave us a few extra days to get things done.