Posted by: annemartinfletcher | July 8, 2012

How Close Was the Fire to USAFA

The devastating Waldo Canyon Fire is still active, but is well-contained. Maps taken from the internet show how close it came to the United States Air Force Academy, specifically to base housing. Basic Cadet Training for the Class of 2016 proceeds. Jack’s Valley was not  close to the fire.

The map below shows the extent of the Waldo Canyon fire. You can find this map for yourself at . Go to, select “viewer,” select active or past fires, then select the name of the fire you wish to view in the drop down menu at the top right of the window. Obviously, this is not a photograph of damaged areas. It is a map of the fire perimeter layered on top of a past satellite image of the area.

Now compare the map to the screenshot below from google maps of the Air Force Academy.  The fire reached a neighborhood off of W. Woodmen Rd. and Centennial Blvd., just southwest of academy property. If you look north (top of image), you will see a water facility that (I think) is on academy grounds. Just beyond that is Pine Drive, base housing, and the commissary. The cadet area and the airfields are significantly farther away.

Thanks go out to all the firefighters who saved so much. And for the parents of the Class of 2016, you can see for yourself that your cadets are safe (even if they don’t feel it right now).


My friend and grad and occasional guest blogger Gary Johnson  sent me this photo dated 5 July, which shows the damage from the fire. The red is vegetation, buildings and pavement are mostly gray, and the burnt, no vegetation area is brown to black.

The image came from Nasa’s Earth Observatory site and was acquired by the Terra Satellite. Thanks, Gary!

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