June 23rd, 2012 a fire of an undetermined source started in Waldo Canyon about 4 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, CO. The Waldo Canyon Fire was contained in the canyons until the third day. On June 26th at about 4:20pm Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach interrupted a fire news conference with an urgent evacuation order. Winds approaching 65 miles per hour slammed into the fire and sent it careening over Queen’s Canyon and pushed the flames down the slope into Mountain Shadows, Oak Valley Ranch, Pinion Valley, and Peregrine neighborhoods. At 5:30pm Byron and Susan, aided by their son completed their emergency evacuation from their home. Their son, Matt, had left everything behind in his home to help his parents. A little after 6:00pm while working their plans fromthe safety of their church parking lot at Rocky Mountain Calvary (almost ten miles away from the evacuation zone) Byron, Susan, and Matt started to see large pieces of ash, to include pages of a book, land in the parking lot. Within 12 hours 346 homes were lost and the famous Flying W Ranch was destroyed because of the Waldo Canyon Fire.
The ministry started on the first day of the fire with a “Check Point Support Ministry”. In this ministry we took in fruit, water, coffee, and snacks to the first responders at the checkpoints. We met, talked, and prayed with residents from the area. Around 11:00pm the night of the 26th with the ministry facilities in the evacuation zone, we were contacted by Rocky Mountain Calvary and established the Check Point Support Ministry with considerable support from the church. Byron re-mapped the checkpoints at 3:30am the 27th and met the pastors and volunteers at the church at 5:30. The church had gallons of coffee already made, fruit cut up, and snacks ready to go. The teams were in motion before the sun came up.
Other work performed in the response to the Waldo Canyon Fire included working intake at the disaster assistance center, cutting trees, and sifting ashes.