There's a mix of pain and hope one month after the Waldo Canyon fire roared through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs. I was among the thousands who have taken the emotional journey from evacuee to living life again near the previous fire zone.
Sheila Williams is among the thousands too, who've come to terms about this month after the blaze. She told me, "The sun was red. The mountain side was on fire. The next thing we hear is get out. " However she also put the future in perspective, too. Sheila says, "I hear the sounds of building. The neighborhood that was hit is starting to rebuild. I'm looking forward to next Spring to see if the hillside is going to green up."
The Flying W Ranch was decimated on that June 26th, early evening we will never forget. Aaron Winter is with the Flying W. He showed me cell phone video he shot 30 minutes before the blaze tore through the ranch and destroyed it. Colorado Springs Fire crews were in the process of helping to mitigate the property to protect it. Winter said, "The next thing you know the fire breeches the top of the hill. The firemen looked straight up the hill and they knew it was over." I asked Aaron, "As you are watching this video, what are you thinking now? God bless the fire department. They did the best they could."
The Flying W is the only business that was destroyed by the Waldo Canyon wildfire in the Mountain Shadows area. A benefit concert to help preserve the ranch's history is August 15th at the Woodmen Valley Chapel. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the ranch. The other fifty percent will go to ranch staff who have been out of jobs since the Flying W was burned to the ground. The Sons of the Pioneers and the Flying W Wranglers will both perform.