UPDATE: West Monument Creek Fire at U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Published
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Strategic Communications

As of 4 p.m., Feb. 26, 2024, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Fort Carson Directorate of Emergency Services and U.S. Forest Service fire departments have continued to fight and contain the West Monument Creek Fire. A fire area containment percentage will be made public as soon as it is available.

For Feb. 27, the U.S. Air Force Academy remains open to only DOD ID cardholders, contractors and District 20 students. The installation remains closed to the public. U.S. Air Force Academy operations continue as scheduled. The Child Development Centers and Military Treatment Facility are planned to be open for regular hours. If the situation changes due to the fire or weather, updates will be communicated in the morning. Some road closures remain in effect and all personnel should follow directions from Security Forces.

Members of the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department from the Academy have taken the lead on coordinating between the multiple agencies fighting the fire. According to the incident commander, Fire Chief Ronald Prettyman, while some hot spots remain, the fire is no longer spreading, and the forecasted precipitation for Feb. 27 bodes well for firefighting operations. The footprint of the fire has not significantly changed from this morning and the fire is not fully contained.

“This has truly been a team effort from across the region, and a huge thank you to everyone on the front line that is supporting this response,” said U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark. “We are so impressed by the teamwork that has gone into keeping our community and Academy safe.”

A UH-60 Black Hawk and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters dropped more than 14,000 gallons of water, targeting hot spots in the affected area.

U.S. Forest Service provided a 10-person hand crew and several management resources. The hand crew is working in steep terrain to clear grass and brush to prevent further spread of the fire.

The CSFD has provided two Type 6 brush trucks, one Type 3 wildland engine, and dozens of personnel to assist. Their Special Operations Unit drone provided up-to-the minute aerial updates to the incident commander when other aircraft were unable to fly due to weather.

“We have always had a strong relationship with our partners at the United States Air Force Academy,” said Ashley Franco, CSFD public information officer. “Our mutual aid agreement dates back more than 30 years and we will continue to support them with resources they need to keep their community safe.”

No evacuation orders have been given to Academy residents, and the pre-evacuation notice for residents in Douglass Valley and Pine Valley housing is rescinded.
The Academy’s Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) remains operational to provide support to our family members, military and government civilians seeking assistance. The EFAC can be reached at 719-333-3444, or 10fss.fsh.afrc@us.af.mil.

Imagery of the ongoing fire response will continue to be updated here:

Link to U.S. Air Force Academy images:

Link to Colorado Springs Fire Department images and video: https://csfdfire.smugmug.com/USAFA-FIRE/n-8vNn5t

For more information, please contact U.S. Air Force Academy Strategic Communications at (719) 333-7731 or email media.rel@afacademy.af.edu.