The new falcon herald logo.
News Briefs

Post fire ñ Black Forest businesses strong front

Since the Black Forest fire, most brick and mortar businesses in the Forest are up and running, with an increase in customers.ìI do feel like Black Forest Road is busier,î said Greg Howard, member of the Black Forest business group. ìThere is lots of construction and cleaning up and support groups out there. I see more vehicles on the road.î He said most of the businesses that had issues like problems with the Internet and phone connections were on Shoup Road. The fire burned along the ground in the area, where CenturyLink had ground equipment. Kris Hill from Table Rock Llamas and Fiber Art Studio said they had several problems with their phone. The fire had burned right up to their building and damaged their box. ìThey finally got our new line laid,î she said.Ryan Wanner, owner of R&R Coffee CafÈ, said that short of being closed for a week and having to throw out the food from a 10-by-10-feet walk-in, he didnít have too much of a setback. ìWe’re definitely holding our own, at least on a financial level,î Wanner said. He said he has ìcrunched numbersî and worked through different scenarios, making sure he always has a plan for any type of disaster or down time.As to business in general, Wanner said, ìIf every one of us plays our cards right, I think we’ll be OK. Where we’ll be in a month or two is not an answer any of us have up here. That will be the challenge.îWanner said itís hard watching regulars come to the cafÈ who have lost their homes. ìWe just can be here for them so something seems normal for them,î he said. The R&R Coffee CafÈ had plans to open for dinner in July, but the plans have been pushed back to later in the year because of the fire, Wanner said. Jeff Schickler from the Firehouse on the Run BBQ said they are much busier now than before the fire. He said they used to smoke meat about every other day, but now they are smoking every day because of the number of people coming in. Schickler lost his house in the fire, but he said he feels fortunate to have his business. When people come in and say they are sorry for his loss, Schickler said he tells them, ìI never liked that house anyway, so I’m going to build myself another one.î The Firehouse BBQ has plans to eventually open another location in Falcon, on the corner of Meridian and Highway 24. The Black Forest Slash-Mulch Program is open and busy, said Ruth Ann Steele, who started the program 20 years ago. ìThings have been moving very fast (since the fire),î Steele said. ìWe are being almost overwhelmed.î She said they have a mulch pile the size of a ìcouple of houses,î with more debris being brought in daily. Mulch is leaving about the same rate as usual, but debris is being brought in at a far greater rate, Steele said. They plan to provide plenty of mulch to the Flying W Ranch to help the forest floor in the burn areas destroyed by the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire. Steele said bringing in mulch and putting it on the forest floor helps the soil. She has sent a sample of the charred mulch to the Colorado State University testing lab to find out if there is more salt in it than normal. Steele said she has heard that burning can cause a chemical reaction that increases the salt content. The slash and mulch program is run by volunteers and is free to citizens of El Paso and Teller counties. They do accept food donations for the local Care and Share program, and monetary donations are also welcome. ìIt’s the only way to run the site,î Steele said. She said they accept tree and bush trimmings, pine cones and pine needles. They do not accept stumps, roots, grass or sod; or any garden trash such as weeds. They also cannot accept the wet slurry that comes down off the hills after the rain. ìThat will gum up the grinder,î Steele said. Drop-off hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 5 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The program is seasonal because the facilities are not heated. ìIt gets cold over there,î Steele said. The cut-off date for drop-offs will probably remain the same, she said. People seem to lose interest around October and November, Steele added. The last date for a drop-off is Sept. 15.

StratusIQ Fiber Internet Falcon Advertisement

Current Weather

Weather Cams by StratusIQ

Search Advertisers