On Wednesday, Nov. 28, Independent senior reporter Pam Zubeck e-mailed the Colorado Springs Fire Department to request an interview about the Waldo Canyon Fire with Fire Chief Rich Brown.
After receiving out-of-office replies from two deputy chiefs and the public information officer, she took her request to Julie Smith, senior communications specialist with the city. Earlier that day, Zubeck had also asked Cindy Aubrey, Colorado Springs' chief communications officer, for an interview about the fire with Mayor Steve Bach. In both requests, she noted that we'd talk anytime before 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5.
At 5:14 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, Smith replied via e-mail that in order for our requests to be considered, we'd have to share more about our "angle" and source data, and to provide our questions in advance.
At 9:50 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4, Zubeck e-mailed Smith seven questions for the mayor, and 11 questions for the fire chief (though some questions for both men had more than one part). Topics ranged from fire department staffing June 26 to the evacuation process to a possible third-party investigation of the fire response.
The only reply we received came via e-mail at 5:11 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, from Aubrey: "The City stands by the Initial After Action Report, which was an exhaustive review of the Waldo Canyon Fire and the City's response. The Full After Action Report will be released second quarter of 2013. The Mayor believes that the Colorado Springs Fire Department, the Colorado Springs Police Department and all other City staff did an exemplary job responding to the Waldo Canyon Fire."