|Colorado wildfire impacts Christian publishers and companies|
|Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:02 AM EDT|
Several Christian publishers and companies in Colorado Springs, Colo., have been impacted by a massive wildfire that began Saturday, June 23, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and devouring an untold number of homes.
Local authorities estimated that more than 15,000 acres were burned by the Waldo Canyon Fire, as 32,000 people were evacuated and an unknown number of those were left homeless after the fire destroyed their homes, KKTV reported. More than 20,000 residences and 160 commercial structures remain threatened Wednesday morning by the fire, which has doubled in size and is only 5% contained—with no rain in the immediate forecast, The Denver Post reported.
Due to the wildfire, The Navigators and NavPress building was mandatorily evacuated June 23 by city officials. "We do not have an update on the extent of the fire on The Navigators property," said a posting today on NavPress' Facebook page. "We do know that several nearby buildings and homes have burned. All Navigators personnel, including staff, guests and students, were safely evacuated from the area long before the fire approached. Please pray for God's protection for the people and property of Colorado Springs, and for the hundreds of courageous men and women fighting the fire."
One CBA staff member has been evacuated from home and another employee is "on the edge right now," Curtis Riskey, CBA executive director, said. "From our offices, we could see the fire moving down the mountain and the flames enveloping homes. ... So far, we don't believe that any of our retailers have been directly impacted."
Rick Christian, founder of Alive Communications, told Christian Retailing that his literary agency office stayed open, but "everybody continued working with both ears and eyes on the news."
"The fire is turning nasty," he said. "Two staffers are now on mandatory evacuation, and the flames are easily visible from the office. The sky looks like a bad war zone, like something horribly apocalyptic. Many, many homes very close by are in jeopardy. We have two pastors and their families living in our home at this point who were also evacuated last night."
Alive Communications Chief Financial Officer Sonya Stricklin added: "The wind is so bad and the smoke so thick that it is literally dark right now. The sun is orange, barely seen through the smoke. I can smell smoke very heavy in the building. It is truly a very strange feeling."
A literary agent for Books & Such Literary Agency, Rachelle Gardner said her family didn't have to evacuate, but her husband, Brian, a firefighter for the city of Colorado Springs since 2007, was fighting the wildfire.
"Technically, it's business as usual," she said. "But with Brian gone fighting the fire, I found it difficult to focus in the usual way. Plus, he was supposed to be off work and helping with the kids. That fell to me, so my work has definitely been interrupted. ... My family has not been in imminent danger, but God has been faithful to keep our spirits up and surround us with praying friends."