Local News

Family's evacuation drills helped during Black Forest fire

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Evacuations during the Black Forest fire were sudden for some people, and many didn't have a plan. One woman told KRDO NewsChannel13 a plan is important, especially for her family.

Jackie Washburn has nine adopted children, and they all have special needs. When she heard about the Black Forest fire, she knew it was time to get out even before her family got an evacuation order.

"We just went into auto pilot to move nine special needs children. You don't do that in 10 minutes, so it took about two hours for us to get ready to go," said Washburn.

Washburn and the kids went to her adult daughter's home, and it was hectic.

"There were 13 children, eight dogs, and about five adults in a three-bedroom house trying to live," said Washburn.

If she had to do it over again, Washburn said she would do more than practice the evacuation plan-- she would have a plan for where the family would stay longer term, but their drills worked.

"That really made the difference between total chaos and organized chaos," said Washburn, who started the drills after the Waldo Canyon fire.

Washburn said she knows Colorado is prone to wildfires, but has no plans to move from Black Forest.

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