MANITOU SPRINGS — Firefighters were able to keep the Incline Fire to one acre and 80 percent containment Saturday, even with far from ideal weather conditions.
Saturday was a Red Flag Fire Danger day due to strong winds and hot and dry conditions.
“Wanted to definitely try to do the incline,” Manitou Springs visitor John Garcia said. “Come to find out there’s a fire.”
It would’ve been a beautiful afternoon to hike it, but like countless others Saturday, Garcia and his wife Angelica had to turn their truck around when they saw the sign reading “Incline is closed.”
Saturday evening, the smoke was barely visible. The Incline Fire was about an acre in size and 80 percent contained as of Saturday night. That progress came despite the fact Saturday was a Red Flag Fire Danger day.
“A lot of times, people don’t understand the dangers associated… we see these nice days,” said Lt. Michael Evers with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.
He knows wildfires all too well.
“I was at Waldo Canyon, Black Forest, Hyde Fire, Cameron Peak,” Evers said.
He knows them well enough to know threat is never really over.
“This time of year, we just don’t get a lot of moisture,” Evers said. “The winds and all these cold front come though and kind of cause havoc. We get a lot of red flag days such as today.”
It’s why he stresses to everyone to please do one simple thing.
“Follow the burn ban. Right now the state of Colorado, El Paso County, Colorado Springs has a burn ban in effect,” he said.
It’s personal for him.
“My house was actually evacuated for Waldo Canyon Fire, so it hits close to home,” he said.
With all that in mind, the Garcias are keeping things in perspective.
“It’s not good, it sucks,” Garcia said. “We’re bummed, but you know, they stopped people from going up because it could’ve been worse… but Colorado, we’re still good!”