by Pam Zubeck
If your only memory of the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area in Colorado Springs looks like the charred mess depicted above, you need to make another trip up that way.
Colorado Springs Together, a nonprofit formed to help residents deal with lost and damaged homes, announced today that the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department has issued 101 permits to rebuild homes lost to the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Waldo hit Colorado Springs June 26 and burned nearly 350 homes and damaged many others. In some places, such as Courtney Drive, entire blocks were wiped out.
Although many residents continue to have problems with insurance carriers, others are rebuilding, the Springs Together group reports in a news release.
Construction on dozens of homes is already well underway in the neighborhoods most affected by the fire, but the issuing of permits approaching one-third of the total homes lost represents a major milestone for Colorado Springs Together, the citizen led partnership of private, public and non-profit sectors along with neighbor representatives formed to facilitate and coordinate rebuilding and repair in Mountain Shadows.
“We have the utmost respect for the spirit and courage that those who lost homes have exhibited,” said Bob Cutter, president of Colorado Springs Together. A total of 347 homes were lost in the fire, and many more were damaged.
“Understandably the emotional impact of the losses has been significant, but we know that the insurance claims process, while slow for some property owners, is well underway, with most companies having settled the majority of their claims,” said Cutter. “Not that there aren’t claims remaining to be settled, because there certainly are, but one look at the building activity and we can see the rebuilding process is moving forward.”