Waldo Canyon Fire

The 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is in danger of being postponed or cancelled altogether as wildfires close in on Colorado Springs. The Waldo Canyon fire, which began several days ago and is ravaging the mountains just west of the city, has already burned more than 15,000 acres and is only five percent contained. Unusually hot weather, a lack of rain and persistent winds have made the blaze difficult to control, and more more than 32,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate. Highway 24, the road leading up to the base of Pikes Peak, is currently closed.

"We are cautiously optimistic concerning the running of the 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8 after an informative and thorough meeting this morning with Mayor Steve Bach and officials from the City of Colorado Springs," said Tom Osborne, Chairman of the Board of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, in a statement released by the event yesterday. "We are in consistent touch with these officials, and monitoring the constantly developing situation related to the wildfires."

Autoblog spoke with Mike Moran, senior media consultant for the PPIHC, about the current status of the event today, and he is still uncertain what will happen. "This is now under the control of the federal government and other agencies," he told us. "We met yesterday with the mayor and came away optimistic, but we don't know what nature is going to bring here. The authorities are well aware of the hill climb and the resources needed to support it, but the first thing in our mind is safety."

Moran says organizers will let race fans and participants know about the status of the hill climb as soon as they can.

"We'll know in plenty of time to let everyone know, and we're getting to that point. I expect in the next 24-48 hours we will know something."

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Statement from the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation Regarding the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

June 26, 2012

From: President & CEO Tom Osborne, Chairman of the Board of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

"We are cautiously optimistic concerning the running of the 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 8 after an informative and thorough meeting this morning with Mayor Steve Bach and officials from the City of Colorado Springs. We are in consistent touch with these officials, and monitoring the constantly-developing situation related to the wildfires."
"We are grateful for the support of the City and for the efforts of the agencies involved in protecting our community from the fire. Our constant thoughts are with the hundreds of men and women who are in the air and on the ground giving us their best, and with our residents and neighbors."

"In the meantime, our systems for the staging of the race and the ancillary events connected to it are fully operative."