Wildfire does not pose threat to Rocky Mountain campBy Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
At Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp, campers have been packing every day with hikes, activities and worship.
On July 2, RMMC executive director Corbin Graber said he and camp staff have been monitoring the 26-square-mile Waldo Canyon fire 10 miles to the east, and evacuation plans are in place, though the camp has not been in danger.
The camp is northwest of Pike’s Peak, about 30 miles west of Colorado Springs. The fire began on June 23, when 65-mph winds fanned it toward Colorado Springs where it destroyed hundreds of homes, prompting tens of thousands to evacuate, including Mennonites.
Graber said prevailing winds blow to the north and east, away from RMMC. Firefighters used four-lane Highway 24 between the camp and fire as a natural barrier and key corridor.
Normally the main route to camp, the highway was closed until July 1, requiring campers to come “the long way” south around Pike’s Peak.
“A lot of these folks added an hour and a half to drive around and get here,” Graber said. “I really like these parents.”
There was only one cancellation. A camper’s family had to evacuate their home.
Besides benefiting from being west — rather than east or north — of the fire, RMMC also has elevation on its side, and a quarter inch of rain fell June 27.
“We would also respond if there is a smoke issue,” Graber said. “Obviously, if you can’t breathe we would simply choose to leave camp because of smoke.
“The good news for us is we are at 9,600 feet, so as long as the winds blow north and east there is nothing that impacts us here.”
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