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Academy Fire Information update

Posted 6/28/2012   Updated 6/29/2012 Email story   Print story

    


U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

6/28/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- UPDATE (June 29, 6:50 p.m.): Although Academy personnel have been recalled and normal operations have resumed, the Waldo Canyon fire is still active and extremely dependent on weather conditions. There is no immediate threat to Academy property and Academy officials continue to monitor the situation closely.

There is a slim chance the fire will continue to spread north and smoke is likely to be visible for several weeks. Firefighters have worked for the last 72 hours improving fire breaks along the entire western border of the Academy. If the fire spreads north, Academy officials have a high degree of confidence firefighters will be able to minimize impact to the Academy.

Officials will monitor the situation over the weekend and support the overall firefighting effort. Until the threat of fire has ended, continue to monitor the news, stay in contact with your chain of command, and maintain an evacuation kit.

UPDATE (June 29, 4:10 p.m.): The Academy's Finance office will be sending out voucher processing guidance for evacuees and have scheduled mass voucher filing July 9-10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community Center Theater.

UPDATE (June 29, 9:10 a.m.):
All evacuated Academy personnel who returned to their on-base residence should continue to maintain a vigilant mindset.

Joint firefighting teams have been working to defend the installation from the fire, and the job is not complete. Although things have settled down and the threat is no longer imminent to the Academy, there is still a fire in Pike National Forest. The team continues to closely monitor the situation and the firefighters continue to defend the grounds.

UPDATE (June 29, 9:10 a.m.):
  • Evacuated personnel from returning to their on-base residence need to contact their chain of command and update their accountability information in AFPAAS.
  • The 10th Air Base Wing commander has rescinded the stop movement order. All personnel are now authorized to travel to USAFA. Contact your chain of command with any questions.
  • The Academy will be open to visitors beginning Saturday, June 30. Although, the trails leading west off the installation will remain closed.
UPDATE (June 29, 12:10 a.m.): The Child Development Center, Youth Center, Commissary, Base Exchange and Falcon Club will all be open normal operating hours tomorrow. The Commissary anticipates some perishable items may not be available, however.

UPDATE (June 28, 10:24 p.m.): 
Academy officials have deemed it safe for residents of the Pine Valley and Douglass Valley housing areas, and the enlisted dormitories, to return to their residence effective 5 a.m. Friday, June 29.

Academy officials recommend utilizing both the North and South gates to minimize traffic flow.

All government evacuation entitlements will expire after 5 a.m. Saturday, June 30. Information on filing evacuation entitlement vouchers will be released Friday.

Academy personnel who have been evacuated from off-base residential areas will continue to receive evacuation entitlements until 24 hours after their respective evacuation orders are lifted by civilian authorities.

Normal operations will resume throughout most of the Academy on Friday. All Academy personnel, including non-essential, must contact your chain of command for duty reporting instructions.

The Academy will resume normal visitor hours on Saturday.

UPDATE (June 28, 9:55 p.m.):
There have been no changes to evacuation orders on the Academy.

The base has received numerous phone calls from individuals who heard the evacuation order was lifted, along with people driving up to the gate to return to their homes. Base officials advise all personnel to remain at their displaced locations until official notification is released via our website at www.usafa.af.mil/news/fire.asp, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/USAFA.Official, and Twitter at http://twitter.com/AF_Academy.

All non-mission essential operations and those supporting the Class of 2016 Inprocessing are still closed.

More information will be release as soon as it becomes available.

UPDATE (June 28, 2 p.m.):
The increase in visible smoke around the Academy is due to wind shifts. Currently, there are no fires on the Academy.

UPDATE (June 28, 1:40 p.m.): Evacuated residents can pick up their US postal service mail from the Briargate location at 8585 Criterion Dr, off Research.

UPDATE (June 28, 11:30 a.m.): The "smoke" visible on the Academy is from smoke coming down Blodget Peak and dust rising from bulldozer activity on the Academy grounds. To clarify, there are no fires currently on the Academy.

UPDATE (June 28, 10:45 a.m.): REMINBURSEMENT FOR EVACUEES Q&A -
Q: Will the AF pay for any deductibles that the MFH Contractor's insurance doesn't pay/cover?

A: A proper claimant is not guaranteed reimbursement of his/her deductible but will often be paid the deductible. There is no guidance that specifically states a claimant will receive his/her deductible. However, the process that must be followed by a claimant often results in the claimant being paid the amount of the deductible. However, keep in mind that hotel expenses are not reimbursable in the statute under which we pay claims (Military Personnel and Civilian Employee's Claims Act, 31 USC 3701, 3721.) We can pay claims for damage to personal property incident to a member's service only. However, if a member suffers property damage and receives payment from the Claim Service Center, what they do with their settlement is entirely their call.

Q: Will the AF reimburse Army personnel who live on USAFA for anything not covered by the renters insurance?

A: Army and Navy personnel have the same rights with regards to claims under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employee's Claims, however, they must file with their service claims office. The USAF Claims Service Center and USAFA Claims personnel can assist in this regard.

Q: Is there an order of precedence for claiming against the Government for items that are not covered by the MFH contractor's insurance?

A: If a member suffered property damage, they'll need to settle with Forest City first (and any other insurance coverage they may have). If the policy limits are exhausted and haven't completely covered the member's loss, the member can file a claim with us under the MPCECA. There's an additional $40K (or up to $100K for claims arising from emergency evacs or extraordinary circumstances) that a member is entitled to.

Q: Does the Government cover the difference between depreciated and replacement value?

A: No.

Q: What is the reimbursement time period - is it from the time Col Gibson gave the order to evacuate until the time he gives to return?

A: The two-year period for filing a claim begins at the time of the incident causing the loss or damage.

UPDATE (June 28, 9:06 a.m.): The Air Force Academy is open for the Class of 2016 in-processing and cadet activities. Appointees should report at their previously scheduled report time. The reporting location has changed to the Cadet Field House instead of Doolittle Hall. All appointees should enter the Academy through the North Gate to access the Cadet Field House. Mission-essential personnel and all those supporting in-processing should report for duty as scheduled. All other base operations are closed.

UPDATE (June 28, 6:52 a.m.): All Academy called-in pharmacy refills (refills only) can be picked up at the BX Pharmacy on Peterson Air Force Base June 29.

UPDATE (June 28, 1:30 a.m.): The 10-acre fire reported earlier on the southwest corner of the installation, near Pine Valley, was contained by Academy firefighters, with the U.S. Forest Service air support, and is no longer active. The fire did not reach any structures. The firefighting teams we have in place are working around the clock to effectively defend the Academy. We will provide updates as they become available.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 10:25 p.m.): In an effort to reduce the footprint of cadets on the Air Force Academy and focus on the Class of 2016, Academy officials are relocating approximately 550 cadets off of Academy grounds.

Approximately 200 summer academics cadets will be temporarily relocated to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus tonight in an effort to continue the mission of developing leaders of character for the United States Air Force and our nation.
"UCCS has been a terrific partner helping our faculty and cadets continue our academic programs while we focus on the Class of 2016 and in-processing," said Brig. Gen. Dana Born, dean of faculty.

Commanders have suspended the airmanship program due to the current operational support of the Waldo Canyon Fire, and other training programs have also been postponed. These approximately 350 cadets have been released to their local sponsor families.

Academy officials want to ensure the public that the cadet area is currently not in imminent danger.

Class of 2016 in-processing will occur as scheduled Thursday on the Air Force Academy. Mission-essential personnel and all those supporting in-processing should report for duty as scheduled. All other base operations will be closed.

All medical appointments are cancelled through Friday. Patients will be contacted to reschedule appointments.

AIR FORCE ACADEMY WALDO CANYON FIRE VIDEOS:
June 27 Press Conference - Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent, Comments
June 27 Press Conference - Col. Tim Gibson, 10th Air Base Wing Commander, Comments
June 27 Press Conference - Q&As
Footage of Fire on Base From June 26 - Part I
Footage of Fire on Base From June 26 - Part II

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 6:20 p.m.): The Air Force Academy is open for the Class of 2016 in-processing and cadet activities on Thursday. Mission-essential personnel and all those supporting in-processing should report for duty as scheduled. All other base operations are closed. All medical appointments are cancelled through Friday. Patients will be contacted to reschedule appointments.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 5:19 p.m.): The 10th Air Base Wing Commander has determined that movement of personnel, both TDY and PCS, should be stopped effective immediately for Airmen and civilians projected to the Academy. However, based on mission requirements, this is a modified Stop Movement action as all Cadets are required to continue with their assignment action and proceed to USAFA. This Stop Movement determination is based on the Waldo Canyon wild fire which has resulted in evacuations from the Colorado Springs, Colo., area. This Stop Movement is in effect for the next 96 hours or until further notice.

Active Duty Airmen should call: DSN 665-4045 or 665-3815 or Commercial: (210) 565-4045 or 565-3815.
Civilian Personnel should contact: 665-5737.
The 24 Hour hotline number is: DSN 665-2020 or Commercial: (210) 565-2020 or 1-800-435-9941.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 5:10 p.m.): Currently, no structures on the Academy are threatened by the Waldo Canyon Fire. The evacuation order was issued to the residents in the Pine and Douglass Valley housing areas as a health and safety precaution resulting from the unpredictability of the fire.
For additional updates, go to www.usafa.af.mil/news/fire.asp.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 3:35 p.m.): Insurance Benefits for Displaced Housing USAFA Residents Provided Through Forest City
Each household is entitled to rental insurance benefits (up to $20,000) to cover property damage and loss. This coverage includes displacement costs (up to $1,500) such as hotels, gas and food.

There will be a $250 deductible when claim is made. Residents must retain all receipts for the claimed items. Residents must also note that if an insurance claim is made through Forest City for hotels, gas and/or food, they cannot claim these same expenditures when filing a travel voucher with the USAF Academy Finance Office.

Obtain your claim form and information brochure from http://www.usafaliving.com/rental-insurance-forms/. Claim questions should be directed to Alliant Insurance at (215) 793-9102.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 2:20 p.m.): In light of current fire and weather conditions, residents from the Douglass Valley housing area may re-enter their homes between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. today to gather any extra items they may need.

Unfortunately, conditions in the Pine Valley housing area are unsafe for re-entry and the top concern for Academy officials is the safety of all Academy personnel.

June 27, 2012(11:23 a.m.) :
EVACUATION OF PINE AND DOUGLASS VALLEY BASE HOUSING
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo., - On 26 Jun 2012, the installation commander issued an evacuation order for all residents in Pine Valley & Douglass Valley Housing on the Air Force Academy.

Personnel assigned to USAFA are directed to contact their chain of command once they arrive at their evacuation destination; as well as update Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (AFPAAS) at https://afpaas.af.mil.

The portion of the Academy that houses cadets is not being evacuated at this time.

For updates on the evacuation, go to www.usafa.af.mil and click on the "Waldo Canyon Fire" tab or call the Straight Talk Line at 719-333-7876. The website will be updated often throughout the current incident.

To contact Air Force members sheltered at Fort Carson, call 719-331-7264.

USAF ACADEMY EVACUEE ENTITLEMENTS
As of 26 June 2012, all Pine Valley and Douglass Valley evacuees were directed to proceed to shelter (at no cost) or temporary lodging (reimbursable) at Fort Carson, CO. All dormitory residents were directed to shelter at Peterson AFB (at no cost).

Government meals are not provided at either shelter location or temporary lodging.

Mileage entitlement will only be paid for the distance from evacuated residence to Fort Carson and return at a rate of $.555 a mile.

Should personnel choose to stay at a location other than Fort Carson (or Peterson AFB for dormitory residents); they will not be reimbursed for the lodging or additional mileage costs.

Below are the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) rates residents are entitled to while evacuated from their homes. (Note: receipts not required to claim these entitlements)

Military (officers and enlisted) $66 a day
Military dependents (over 12) $66 a day
Military dependents (under 12) $33 a day
Civilian employees and civilian dependents (over 12) $66 a day
Civilian dependents (under 12) $33 a day
Cadets $66 provided when government meals are not available or provided
Cadets $5 when government or deductible meals are provided without charge

On travel days (day evacuated and day of return), the reimbursable rate is 75% of the above. Keep in mind, reduced M&IE rates may apply to military, civilian and dependents if government or deductable meals are provided with or without charge.

Details on how to claim evacuation entitlements will be released at a later date.

CHILD CARE INFORMATION
-- The Peterson and Schriever Child Development Centers and the Peterson Youth Center have capacity for children of mission-essential personnel at no charge. Due to the nature of the emergency, no shot records are required. Call the Peterson CDC at 554-9572 or 556-7460. The number for the Peterson Youth Center is 556-7220. Call the Schriever CDC at 567-4742.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
-- Cadets currently at the Academy are still located in the cadet area. This is the safest place on the Academy as the area is surrounded by concrete asphalt and improved grass. The buildings are also noncombustible, therefore there is very limited fuel for the fire.

-- The Academy is closed to visitors and non-essential personnel. All medical appointments have been cancelled for today and tomorrow, June 28.

UPDATE (JUNE 27, 7:45 a.m.):
At this time, cadet inprocessing is still scheduled for Thursday, however the reporting location has changed to the Cadet Field House instead of Doolittle Hall. Appointees should report at their previously scheduled report time. All appointees should enter the Academy through the North Gate to access the Cadet Field House.

Bed-and-breakfast host families who plan to meet their appointees on the Academy are asked to meet their appointees at the Cadet Field House instead of Doolittle Hall at the originally scheduled time. In addition, cadet appointees arriving at the airport whose bed-and-breakfast families have been impacted by the evacuation will receive instructions at the airport from Association of Graduate members, who will be identified as such.

Any changes or updates on inprocessing and cadet appointee reporting instructions will be posted here.

USAFA BASE CLOSURE: Academy officials have directed a base closure for normal operations for Wednesday. Only mission essential personnel and personnel in direct support of cadet activities such as in-processing and student academics should plan to report for duty. Contact your chain of command for specific reporting instructions.

In addition, the Air Force Academy is closed to visitors until further notice.



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