COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A critical 911 call made during last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire may have helped crews contain the fire before it got out of control.
CBS4 partner KKTV found a 911 call that came in from a man who had seen the fire four hours before firefighters found the flames.
Dispatcher: El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
Caller: Hello, I’m calling today regarding the suspected Waldo Fire.
Caller: I was running with the trail today and went up one of the dog legs, after I smelled a little bit of smoke
Dispatcher: Uh Huh
Caller: And there’s a spot about a couple hundred feet wide that’s still smouldering a little bit
Dispatcher: Right. Pueblo Forest Service checked on that last night and they said that they’d be sending up another unit this morning, first thing this morning to check on it. But they are aware of it and should be there shortly this morning. Okay?
Caller: Yeah just wanted to make sure.
Dispatcher: Sure. Thank you.
At that point crews were still struggling to find the fire but never received that information from the dispatcher.
Four hours later the flames erupted into the inferno that threatened first Manitou Springs and then the northwest quadrant of Colorado Springs and ended up burning hundreds of homes.
The sheriff’s office says the call was mishandled, but it’s not clear if it would have changed the course of the fire.
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