The Waldo Canyon fire is now 30% contained which is pretty good in my opinion. If you imagine a fire with a 100 mile perimeter then this would equate to 30 miles of that perimeter being contained. Doesn't seem like much but you also have to take into accound the type of rugged terrain that we are talking about in this example. There are many places where they simply cannot get boots on the ground and are relying on aerial drops to cool things off.
With that said, there is still a line due south of Woodland that T's into highway 24 that crews are still concerned about. It has held for about the last 2 days but the weather expected for today is not as favorable as it has been. Today they expect less cloud cover (which will heat things up) and they also expect more wind. The big nknown for us is always the direction that the wind will come from. Typically, it blows up the ridge that runs along the highway but if it swings and comes from the SE, it could very easily jump the line they dug and backburned from and start working it's way towards Woodland one ridge at a time which is precisely what it did the first several days. So...as of this mornings press conference, the mandatory evacuation is still in effect.
WARNING: this is now going to take a slight political swing.
At the end of every press conference they always turn it into a question/answer session for the citizens in attendance. Today one guy got up and was concerned about the impact that this fire was going to have on our city long term (we've essentially lost this seasons tourist revenue, businesses are hurting and most have shut down, etc.). So the Mayor and his left hand man (can't recall his exact title) were encouraging everyone to support the local businesses. Now I wasn't in attendance as we stream the conference every morning but my frustration with this is that twice now in the 7 years I have been teaching in Woodland Park, the citizens (and business owners in particular) have not supported a Mill Levy which would provide more money for our school district. This is MY business. We wouldn't be cutting programming every year, class sizes would not be in the 30's, people like me who have a Masters degree and 11 years experience might actually be able to make $40,000 a year, we might be able to un-freeze the pay scale and folks could get their steps for the first time in 6 years!! When the educators talk to business owners about the importance of a Mill Levy, things always become heated. Woodland Park has made it very clear how they feel about the importance of education. It will be very difficult for me to go back into town and go to dinner or purchase things from stores in town as opposed to waiting until we run errands down in the Springs to do that, or to hire someone in town to repair my deck instead of having someone come up the mountain to do it, etc. I started to make a comment addressing this via facebook but then realized that my name would be known and that's not good for my livelihood. It's unfortunate because it's a valid point to make and at a time when those that are steadfastly on the other side of the fence might actually be able to see it.