While Ascendigo Ranch’s proposal for a year-round camp is laudable, there could not be a more poorly chosen location. There are many compelling reasons to deny this proposal (water resources, traffic, limited roads, noise, pollution, zoning regulations) and I will focus on a crucial one: wildfire threat.

During my time in Missouri Heights, I have been evacuated twice (almost three times; I was ready) due to encroaching wildfires. As the Panorama fire approached our neighborhood, the sheriff came to the house and yelled through his bullhorn, “You need to leave NOW.  I’m not talking about 15 minutes, but NOW.” It was terrifying.

“Those with autism are likely to hide in fire situations: in closets, under beds, behind furniture.” (adapted from autismspeaks.org)

“Individuals with autism have a particular problem with fire drills: the noise, lights and crowded halls.” (adapted from autismclassroomresources.com)

Safely rescuing many children within minutes of an approaching fire (with very few access roads) could be futile and tragic.

“The consequences of intense dry periods are severe, including more intense and dangerous wildfires.” (Post Independent)

“Governor Polis warns that wildfire season is a year-round phenomenon.” (Post Independent)

It’s the wrong location.


Katherine Reppa

Missouri Heights