News>Academy residents return home, operations return to normal
Tammy Rich gathers personal belongings from her vehicle June 29, 2012, after residents were allowed to return to their homes at the Air Force Academy, Colo. Rich and her family, along with all everyone else residing on the Academy, were forced to evacuate their homes because of the Waldo Canyon fire that was threatening the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brad Sisson)
6/29/2012 - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) -- More than 2,100 Airmen and their families who had to evacuate their homes at the U.S. Air Force Academy due to the Waldo Canyon fire were allowed to return as of 5 a.m. June 29.
With the fire contained after burning about 10 acres of land on the installation, Academy leaders determined it was safe for residents to return to Pine Valley, Douglas Valley and the dorms.
Approximately 111 Airmen who lived in the dorms temporarily relocated to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
"Today, it's back to business as usual here," said Staff Sgt. Heather Stanton, from the Air Force Academy's Public Affairs Office. "The (base exchange), commissary and childcare locations are all open as normal." Before the return announcement, only mission-essential personnel were allowed on base.
Airmen assigned here now have 24 hours from the 5 a.m. notification to check-in with their chain of command before they return to duty, Stanton said.
An additional 200 cadets were moved to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus, and officials have yet to decide whether they will return to the Academy or continue their summer classes at UCCS, Stanton said. About 400 more cadets who were in the airmenship program were released to their local sponsors due to base officials temporarily suspending the program because of the fire.