Report On Waldo Canyon Fire Response Released

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The final city report on the Waldo Canyon Fire has been released. The city held a press conference Wednesday to go over the key points.

The city said Wednesday there are no "ah-ha" moments to be found in the report, which covers the strengths and weaknesses of the city's response. The answer to the most pressing question for residents of the Pikes Peak region--what exactlycaused the fire--was nowhere to be found in the report.

The 111-page report covered each day of the fire, with a detailed timeline of the events on June 26, when the fire reached the city and destroyed 347 homes.

The report specifically cited the response on the 26th as one of the major success stories from the fire: crews were able to safely 26,000 residents while battling a fast-moving fire, and saving 82 percent of the homes.

The report also found that public safety organizations, including the Colorado Springs fire and police departments, had done numerous training exercises prior to the fire that enabled them to be well-prepared for the event, unprecedented as it was.

The coordinated response between the fire and police departments, as well as entities such as local government and non-profit organization, was also praised in the report.

Colorado Springs Fire Department Captain Steve Riker said Wednesday that he couldn't be prouder of the way CSFD and CSPD stood together during the fire.

The report did find that more training in certain areas is needed so that a greater number of both established personnel and volunteers can be dispatched to assist with support in large-scale events.

Communication during the fire was also an issue; specifically noted were sporadic cellular and wireless service in the Wildland Urban Interface and the Incident Command Post at Holmes Middle School in west Colorado Springs.

Other areas in need of improvement:

-Emergency management plans going forward need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure their relevance.

-Job checklists during large-scale events need to be distributed better.

-A detailed list of long-term staffing for major events needs to be created ahead of time so it can be instantly put in place when necessary. The report found that a detailed staffing and rotation was not conceived during the first day of the fire.

-Disseminating real-time information. The report recommended specifically training people to work as "scribes," whose primary job is tracking real-time information and quickly getting it to the appropriate channels.

11 News is combing through the document, and will provide more updates throughout the day.

Read the report here.

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