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Smoke Clearing

The worst seems to be over for Colorado Springs.  Actually, it has been several days since the tragedy.  Most people were let back to their homes by Friday evening.

Not so in Mountain Shadows.  The development bore most of the damage from the fire.

I have worked in two offices at the foot of Mountain Shadows.  An occasional conversation with coworkers was about this neighborhood, about this very thing, that it was just too high up into the mountains, that the wrong conditions could wipe it out, in whole or in part.  I guess we were right, though naturally I am not happy about that.

It is a fairly new neighborhood.  When I visited The Flying W Ranch back in 1975, with a couple of busloads of Boy Scouts, we left Garden of the Gods and drove a half mile or so up 30th Street past, basically, nothing and then drove up a long driveway to the ranch.  There was nothing till you got to the top.  All of Mountain Shadows was just cow pasture back then.

It was on this cow pasture that they built hundreds of homes, right along the edge of a national forest.  The views are great, nice homes, a little bit of a tricky drive after a snowstorm, but I am sure somebody at the development company or the building department understood the risk.  Anybody with any sense would have understood the risk  Hopefully the buyers understood; they should have.

Yes, they had every right to build there.  The pluses may well have outweighed the risks.  I just hope that they – and the people who live on rivers or ocean beaches or near volcanoes – get to pay to rebuild, them and their insurance companies.  However, the area has already been declared a federal disaster, so we will probably get to pay for it.

And sometime around 2050, it will all happen again.


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