Westside Briefs:
Small fires doused near water tower

       The Colorado Springs Fire Department kept six grass fires from spreading the night of Jan. 21. The nearest structure was a large city water tank on the hilltop off Manitou Boulevard, several hundred feet south of Uintah Street.
       The small blazes (the largest was 1 acre) were “intentionally set,” according to a CSFD press release. No suspects have been identified.
       Called at 8:27 p.m., “the first arriving units found a small grass fire that was about 20 by 20 feet involving grass and brush, but, the current weather conditions of increased humidity, decreased temperatures and no wind caused the fire to creep slowly and not threaten any surrounding structures,” the release states.
       When other fires were noticed, additional fire units were called in. A total of six engines, four brush trucks and 24 firefighters were involved.
       Creating sidewalks on both sides of Manitou Boulevard will be the topic of a neighborhood meeting with city officials Wednesday, Feb. 3.
       The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Living Hope Church, 640 Manitou Blvd. The proposed project area is between Chestnut and Monument streets, which currently has sidewalk on parts of its north side but none on its south side.
       Money would come from the city's federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
       “The project plans are almost finished,” said Don Sides, who manages the city's CDBG capital improvement projects. “We'll get people up to date at the meeting and see if there are any questions.”
       Because he is waiting for public input, he has not yet put together a cost estimate. About 40 property owners would be affected, he said.
       The Bear Creek Nature Center will offer a volunteer orientation class Saturday, Jan. 30 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., as well as an environmental education program leader training class on successive Fridays -Feb. 12, 19, 26 and March 5.
       Both classes are free, but reservations are requested. The center has volunteer positions for anyone 18 years of age and older.
       For more information, call Nature Center interpreter Paula Megorden at 520-6388.

Westside Pioneer/press releases