Reporters in Colorado Springs are chasing what is the biggest story many have ever covered, as the so called Waldo Canyon Fire rages through the market.
Some 32,000 people have been evacuated, and 18,000 acres have burned in DMA No. 90.
KKTV News Director Liz Haltiwanger says it’s the biggest story she’s covered in her 10 years in the market. “I’m not trying to be dramatic, but you just don’t know moment to moment,” she says of trying to cover such a moving target.
The Colorado Springs stations don’t have helicopters, but are getting aerial footage from their affiliate body siblings in Denver.
Cordillera’s KOAA has a live streaming newscast on KOAA.com, as well as some compelling aerial photos. (Someone at KOAA might take a minute to fix a few unfortunate typos in the header above the aerial footage, which reads: “Exclusive Aerial Photos Of The Devistation Waldo.”)
Gray’s KKTV has a fixed camera on the flames. When I clicked on the link, an ad for a furniture store came on, touting an Independence Day sale that featured fireworks at the start of the pre-roll, which seemed like unfortunate timing for a story about a devastating fire.
Haltiwanger says the station is getting a big assist from its Gray colleagues; staffers from Reno, Omaha and Lincoln are in Colorado Springs, pitching in.
Barrington’s KXRM shows a house going up in flames on its homepage. The homepage videos also feature pre-rolls.
“This wildfire is burning hard, heavy and fast,” said the anchor. “It’s really a sad, sad day in Colorado Springs, and Colorado.”
KXRM also has a banner on its home page, tied to the wildfire, urging users to download its Fox21 app “for the latest on the Waldo Canyon fire.”