Residents affected by the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs have banded together as the fire continues to burn.
With an estimated 38,000 people having to evacuate from their homes, people have been communicating through friends, family, and social media to offer food and shelter to displaced people.
Jennifer Nielsen Lingard, owner of the Peakview Stables in Elizabeth, northeast of Colorado Springs, told people through the Black Forest Fire Facebook page that she has a barn, sheds, and three pastures, and can take in some horses if people have nowhere else to put them.
“I’ll even provide feed for awhile until these poor folks get on their feet,” she said. “I can take a few dogs as well. I am on 36 acres so we have lots of room!”
Other offers of help have been posted to the page as well, including Brace Stafford, who lives nearby but hasn’t been impacted by the fire, offering a spare master bedroom and bathroom to a displace family, and Brianna Allen telling anyone who needs help that she and her family have a truck and trailer and “are ready to help anyone who may need it tonight.”
People helping each other out might be the best thing that’s come out of an otherwise negative situation for John Bissett, who left his home in northern El Paso County on June 12 as the fire neared.
Bisett was offered a place to stay at his friend’s homes in Colorado Springs, or a place to park his motor home. His neighbors are staying with their friends.
“There is such an outpouring from the community that very few people actually take advantage of the Red Cross established shelters,” he said.
Local businesses are also getting into the act. Poor Richard’s Restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs, for instance, is offering free pizza and fountain drinks to all evacuees and firefighters.