COLORADO SPRINGS — On Sunday, the Flying W Ranch remembered the destructive Waldo Canyon Fire from 10 years ago and celebrated the resilience of the Mountain Shadows community.
“This just really hits home and that’s why we’re here celebrating,” said Bill Wysong, president of the Mountain Shadows Community Association.
On this day ten years ago, this neighborhood looked much different.
“Ashes and embers were falling on the car,” said Dorian Lee, board member for the Mountain Shadows Community Association. “I was stuck in traffic. It took forever to get out of the neighborhood.”
“I was driving into my garage getting ready to evacuate just because it didn’t look good,” Wysong said. “And then, there was no fire on the ridge. Just smoke. And within five or ten minutes it was burning a third of the way down the ridge.”
Despite the loss and devastation, the day was about the community that rose from the ashes.
“Within I think three or four months, the first home was being built and that couldn’t have happened without all the support — the many volunteer organizations,” Wysong said.
First responders and officials from the Marshall Fire in December came out as well.
“Just a sign of fellowship and support to show them that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Lee said.
Neal Shah, a member of the Superior Board of Trustees, said the Colorado Springs community emerging after the fire was encouraging for their city.
“From them, I was both inspired and surprisingly hopeful about what our community could do together,” Shah said.
This remembrance was about regrowth and seeing the positives.
“Whenever there’s a reminder… another fire, another community burns… it’s tough. But, the positive is, we did make it through, the community didn’t burn, and we all came together,” Wysong said.