COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Things are back to normal at the Colorado Springs Airport Friday after a grass fire grounded flights and forced hundreds of employees and passengers to shelter in place.
The airport announced Thursday evening that inbound flights had resumed, and a look at flight statuses at 6 a.m. Friday shows all but a handful as “on time.”
The Alturas Fire ignited shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the area of Milton Proby and Powers Boulevard and scorched more than 180 acres before fire crews could get it under control. Along with threatening numerous homes in the area, the fire prompted the nearby Amazon warehouse to evacuate its employees and close for the night shift, and forced everyone at the airport to hunker down.
“We walked out and there was black everywhere. There was no blue [sky] — it was all black.”
Alexandra Kuyawa flew into the airport from Dallas and found herself stuck.
“It was kind of crazy because we weren’t expecting it. We just wanted to get to the place we were going to but we couldn’t leave!” she said.
Roads leading to the airport were closed soon after the fire started. Around 5:30 p.m., the airport was put under a shelter-in-place order and inbound flights were paused. Outbound flights followed.
“All the police were at the entrance and exit and nobody could leave. Everyone was waiting for their cars; we couldn’t go anywhere,” Kuyawa said.
The shelter-in-place was lifted Thursday evening, and travelers with vehicles parked on the premises were allowed to leave. Due to roads leading into the airport remaining closed, those needing to be picked up were taken by shuttle to a nearby 7-Eleven.
The airport said late Thursday night that it had resumed normal operations. Check your flight status by clicking here.
The Alturas Fire is currently 15 percent contained but the bulk of it is considered under control, officials have said. All roads around the airport are back open as of Friday morning.