Jul 1, 2012 12:06 PM by Matt Stafford
Highway 24 is reopening Sunday at 9 a.m. for residents of Green Mountain Falls, Chipita Park, Cascade, and Crystola; then at 1 p.m. the El Paso County Sheriff's office says the highway will be open to all traffic.
Until the highway is open to all motorists at 1 p.m. residents will have to provide law enforcement with proof or residency in the area (IDs, etc.) to be allowed through road blocks. Lt. Jeff Kramer says this is an attempt to let the people who live in those communities along the highway have a chance to settle back in before other drivers begin passing through.
Lt. Kramer points out that while there is still fire concern in the area and fire crews working, there will be reduced speed and possible lane closures along Highway 24 between Manitou Springs and Woodland Park. There will also be no stopping on the shoulder allowed.
Incident Commander for the Waldo Canyon Fire Rich Harvey added to the Highway 24 information by saying those drivers and residents in the area will still see smoke, but may not see fire crews. Harvey says there are crews there working the fire in the area, but may not be seen because of how far in they are stationed. While crews have established a good fire line along the highway, according the Harvey, he adds that there is a problem area near Cave of the Winds that they are working on.
Lt. Kramer asks that if people don't need to be in that area, that they stay away for now to cut down on congestion.
Highway 24 will remain open unless new threats arise.