Some El Paso County residents were allowed to return home Sunday after approximately 11,000 people were evacuated due to the fire. Sunday afternoon officials said the fire was burning towards Cedar Heights, Highway 24 and the Cascade area.
"Today is going to be a tough day ... tougher than yesterday," fire information officer Greg Heule said. "Ninety degrees, 25 to 30 mph gusts are predicted. No cloud cover at all. It will be clear skies that will allow the fire to develop those columns and burn more intensely."
About 6,000 people are still evacuated due to the fire, as of Monday morning.
The fire is burning near Waldo Canyon off of Highway 24 in Pike National Forest and is at five percent containment. The fire is at 3,446 acres and smoke could be seen from the Denver area over the weekend.
About 450 people are working the fire just to the west of Colorado Springs.
Sunday afternoon, officials say the fire had not crossed Highway 24. They said resources include three heavy air tankers, four single-engine air tankers and at least three helicopters.
However, the fire did cross Rampart Range Road and into Queen's Canyon.
"We've had no structures lost at all in this fire so far, and we're very, very pleased with that," Heule said.
Mandatory evacuations are in place for Cedar Heights Subdivision and Mountain Shadows south of Chuck Wagon. This is the only mandatory or voluntary evacuation in effect at this time in Colorado Springs City limits.
Garden of the Gods Park and Garden of the Gods Visitor Center are closed.
Highway 24 is closed west of Colorado Springs. In particular, westbound is closed near the west exit for Manito Springs, and eastbound is closed at the El Paso/Teller County Line near Crystola.
According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Sunday afternoon the Colorado Springs Police Department closed Cheyenne Canon Park and High Drive. Green Mountain Falls, Chipita Park, and Cascade - on both sides of Hwy 24 - are closed also.
The Red Cross opened a shelter for evacuees at Cheyenne Mountain High School, located at 1200 Cresta Road. Another shelter is located at Woodland Park High School at 151 N Baldwin St.
Small animals needing shelter can be taken to the Pikes Peak Humane Society at 610 Abbott Lane in Colorado Springs, or Bear Creek Veterinary Care at 960 Pico Point.
Large animals needing shelter can be taken to the Penrose Equestrian Center, located at 1045 W. Rio Grande Street in Colorado Springs.
The Red Cross is accepting monetary donations for those affected by the fire. Firefighters say they are very grateful that people are trying to help, but they cannot accept food from residents. If you want to support the firefighters, donate to the Red Cross or Goodwill.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The spread of the Waldo Canyon fire has forced the Postal Service to relocate postal operations for affected customers to pick up their mail. The decision impacts approximately 1130 Post Office Boxes and 850 street deliveries.
- If you live in Green Mountain Falls, CO, 80819, mail pickup will be out of the Woodland Park, Tamarac Station, located at 900 Tamarac Parkway. Hours of service are 9-5. Questions can be directed to 719-686-0240.
If you live in Cascade, CO, 80809, mail pickup will be at the Colorado Springs, West End Retail Unit, located at 204 S 25th St 80904. Hours of service are 830-5:30. Questions can be directed to 719-570-5456.
- If you live in the Colorado Springs, Cedar Heights area, ZIP 80904, mail pickup will be at the Colorado Springs West End Retail Unit located at 204 S 25th St 80904. Hours of service are 830-530. Questions can be directed to 719-570-5456.
- If you live in the Rockrimmon area of West Centennial Blvd, South Chuckwagon Road, North 30th and Flying W Ranch Road Colorado Springs 80919, mail pickup will be at the Colorado Springs Rockrimmon Station , located at 5001 Centennial Blvd 80919. Hours of service are 730-530. Questions can be directed to 719-266-8216.
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