NewsCovering Colorado


Evacuees share gratitude for fire response

ALTURAS FIRE 2 Medium.jpeg
Posted at 10:53 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 00:53:52-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Families evacuated Thursday evening by the Alturas Fire burning near the Colorado Springs Airport express gratitude and relief when those evacuation orders were lifted a few hours later. The fire was named after Alturas Drive, the eastern-most street the bordered the fire burn area.

Doug Johnson opted to stay home despite the evacuation order. He said the helicopter flew by so closely that it felt like he could reach out and touch it.

"I didn't realize that we were that prepared with a helicopter," Johnson said. "I had the flashbacks of the west side, you know, the fire up in Mountain Shadows and stuff like that."

The Lewis family lives across the street. Don Lewis explained that the family lost their cats to a house fire in the garage previously. So, they weren't taking any chances.

"It was a little hectic but everything worked out," he said.

His son John said his sister-in-law called to warn the family about the evacuation order. Her call came as deputies knocked at the door and gave that warning to Don.

"I got the alert on my smartphone earlier about the Stetson hills fire but I had no idea about this one," John said.

Just outside of the fire evacuation zone, Joshua Frecks and his daughter watched and worried.

"It's really heartbreaking because this is actually one of my main roads I take into work," he said pointing toward Grinnell Boulevard. "And then of course, I've got family up in Teller County with that fire going on."

His daughter heard about the fire during an after school club from a teacher who lives in the evacuation zone.

"It makes me feel scared for her because this is our, this is almost my last week with her in school," she said.

That sense of fear and uncertainty earlier in the day gave way to relief and appreciation as night fell.

Don Lewis said he was especially grateful for the deputies who came to warn him of the evacuation.

"If they hadn't come knocking on the door, we'd have never known."

While the evacuation order was lifted, many fire crews remained on the scene to put out hot spots and monitor conditions overnight.

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