Seven Colorado wildfires have affected thousands of residents, including Wesleyans.
Multiple wildfires have ravaged the state, and the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs has caused 32,000 to be evacuated from their homes. On Tuesday night alone, the fire spread from 6,000 to 18,000 acres.
Rev. Kevin Goos (pronounced Goss) serves as pastor of Mountain View Wesleyan Church in Colorado Springs and assistant district superintendent of the Mountain Plains District (formerly Colorado-Nebraska District). He reported that families in his congregation have been affected.
“Five households in our congregation were evacuated but all have received word that their homes are still intact–but the condition is still unknown,” he says. Rev. Goos says more information will be released today from Colorado Springs officials, but estimates show between 300-500 homes have been destroyed by the fire.
Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown describes the fire as having “epic proportions.” However, as bleak as the ordeal has been for many Coloradans, Rev. Goos said, “things have gotten a lot better in the last 24 hours.” The fire did not spread on Wednesday afternoon, and there was no additional fire impact. He says city officials were hopeful that Thursday would be an “offensive day” where conditions can improve as opposed to the last few days, which have been deemed “defensive” in trying to keep the fire contained.
Rev. Goos says that Wesleyans praying for those affected is still vital. He requests specific prayer:
- Continued safety for firefighters. More than 1,000 firefighters are working 16-hour shifts and sleeping in tents near the fire site (in 90 degree heat). Canadian and military firefighters have been brought in to help with the containment.
- Weather, specifically for wind direction and intensity
- Containment lines
- Air quality due to smoke and ash from the fire. There has been almost zero visibility, as vehicles are covered in ash. The north, central, and eastern parts of Colorado Springs have been most affected.