Colorado Springs activated its Emergency Operations Center the day the Black Forest fire started and ran a 24-hour operation for the next four days.
The city’s response and support for the Black Forest fire cost is $650,000, a report expected to be given to the city council July 22.
Bret Waters, the city’s division manager, Office of mergency Management, will detail for the council the city’s support role and the cost of responding to the Black Forest fire. In August, the council will be asked to use some of its reserve fund to cover about $260,000 of the unbudgeted costs.
The Black Forest fire started between 1 and 2 p.m. June 11, near Shoup Road and Highway 83 in El Paso County. The fire burned 14,280 acres and about 41,000 people from 14,000 homes were evacuated. Of those, 13,000 homes and 38,000 people were in El Paso County and 1,000 homes and 3,000 people — mostly from the Flying Horse neighborhood – were in the City of Colorado Springs.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center was activated June 11 and remained operational until June 15, after the mandatory evacuation orders were lifted within city limits. The fire was declared 100 percent contained June 20.
Support came from the city’s fire department, police department and the streets division. It also included the staff who worked 24-hours a day in the Emergency Operations Center and the Fire Department Operations Center.
The total cost of these resources is estimated at $649,660. Of that amount, $411,204 went toward personnel, fuel, and EOC supplies and food, for the city and county’s efforts in support of those fighting the fire. Of this, $148,760 was already appropriated in the 2013 budget; while $262,444 for the overtime, purchases, supplies and food was not in the budgt.
The city is eligible to be reimbursed from the state for other expenses, not included in the expenses the council will be asked to pay for in August.