As Seen On News 5

Apr 3, 2013 8:58 PM by Zach Thaxton

Waldo Canyon Fire report paints picture of calm and chaos

A 111-page After Action Report on Colorado Springs' response to the Waldo Canyon Fire offers both praise and criticism, painting a picture of both calm and chaos amid the most destructive natural disaster in the city's history.

The report, released Wednesday, does not offer any bombshell revelations such as a precise cause for the fire, which is human-caused remains under criminal investigation, or who sparked it.  Police Chief Pete Carey says investigators have exhausted all leads and have no suspects at this time.  The report does offer a mix of kudos and critique for planning leading up to the fire and response to it at its height.

PROS:
Public safety agencies were well prepared for a large-scale event, particularly post-9/11.
Dedication on the part of city personnel was unprecedented.
Long anticipation of a wildland urban interface fire led to  years of training and preparation.
Critical infrastructure identification happened early on.
Communication with non-profits ensured resources for affected residents.

WEAKNESSES:
Communication issues between first responders
Field documentation for record-keeping purposes
Lack of preparation for extreme logistical challenges
Public confidence in security patrols of evacuated areas

CLICK HERE to view the full report. 

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