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Flying W Ranch hosts day of remembrance for Waldo Canyon Fire

Community members made memorabilia thanking first responders during the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Posted at 1:54 AM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 08:33:49-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — On Sunday, the Flying W Ranch filled with community members, joining together in remembrance of 10 years since the Waldo Canyon Fire.

"Sometimes it does feel like it was yesterday," said Bob Wysong, President of the Mountain Shadows Community Association.

The association organized the event for people to reflect on a decade since flames engulfed nearly 350 homes and took two lives too soon.

Steve Weed and Laurie Wilson lived near the ranch and were forced to evacuate in June 2012.

"Surreal, I guess that's the word I want to use. Crazy time, it seems like forever ago," said Weed.

Weed, a local artist, used his talents as a therapeutic escape in the months following the fire.

"I was walking around seeing these pieces of burnt ember and ashes in our yard, so I thought maybe it would work to draw with. So I picked some up and went in the studio and it did work, it was amazing how well it did work."

The series "Ashes to Art" was eventually auctioned off in order to fund the Waldo Canyon Memorial that sits in Mountain Shadows Park.

After ten years, the green on the trees serves as a glimmer of hope towards regrowth for community members.

"Looking at the hillside, some of the shrubbery is starting to grow back and so instead of just a brown hillside with black sticks, you're starting to see the green," said Wysong.

Community leaders in Colorado Springs also invited first responders from the Marshall Fire, which burned in Boulder in December, to the event at the Flying W Ranch as a way to show them rebuilding a community is possible.

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