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Yellow Stake / Green Stake
Relight process: Upon returning to your home, you will notice that Black Hills Energy has placed a yellow stake by the road. A yellow stake indicates that your natural gas service is ready to be restored, and you can call us at 888-890-5554 for a technician to come to your home. If there is not yet a stake at your residence upon returning, customers are still welcome to contact us to request a relight. After service has been restored, we will place a green stake at the street indicating that service has been restored. Please leave stakes in the ground for the next week as we work to expedite service.
Please Stay Safe
During these difficult times, your safety and the safety of our employees is our number one concern. Please keep the following safety tips in mind.
- What to Do When You Smell Natural Gas
- When a Power Line is Down
- What to Do When the Lights Go Out
- Be Safe Around Power Lines
- Power Quality
- View Current Outages
Service will be restored as soon as it is safe to do so. Check back for up to date information.
We will no longer be updating this page.
We have restored gas service to more than 2,000 customers, have reliability efforts completed for the entire area, and are ready to restore service to any customer that calls, without delay. There were more than 500 homes lost, and there are customers still awaiting restoration service from BHE, but needing electric service restored before we will relight them (Mountain View REA was telling customers last week that may be around 30 days). The BHE support team from out of the area has returned home. Thank you for your patience.
6:00 p.m. - 47% of customers have been restored.
The El Paso County Disaster Assistance Information is working to compile a comprehensive list of resources and information about the Black Forest fire.
5:13 p.m. - 39% of customers have been restored.
8:17 p.m. - Black Hills Energy technicians have begun the relighting process for customers. We've completed more than 1,000 relights...about 1/3 of total customers have had their service restored.
10:31 a.m. - Black Hills Energy technicians will go door to door and restore service, which involves turning meters back on and relighting pilot lights on natural gas equipment and appliances.
10:24 a.m. - Black Hills Energy has begun restoring natural gas service to those evacuated customers whose service was interrupted due to the Black Forest wildfire which includes Black Forest and the surrounding areas.
12:05 p.m. - Areas on the borders have been opened up and we are relighting some of our customers.
12:00 p.m. - We have over 100 workers in the area, from across Colorado and in from Kansas as well as local contractors helping out. Next week we will be getting help for relights from Colorado Springs Utilities.
12:00 p.m. - We've added an FAQ section below to address some turn on/off questions we've been getting.
7:48 p.m. - All Black Hills Energy electric customers have had their power restored.
6:05 p.m. - 3,700 Black Hills Energy customers have had service interrupted due to fires.
Pueblo City/County Resources
- City 2 Engines (8 personnel) @ Black Forest Fire
- Rye Fire handful of single resource personnel (no equipment) @ both fires
- Pueblo West Fire 1 truck
- 42 acres (downsized from 60)
- 75% containment
- All evacuations lifted
- No structures or lives lost
- 15,000 acres burned
- 360 homes lost
- 15,000 homes (38,000 people) evacuated
- 0% containment
- 1 person missing
- Cause still under investigation
- 3,162 acres burned
- 250 People evacuated
- Location: Fremont County, Colorado
- Cause under investigation
- Park: 150 seasonal employees terminated, need months to rebuild, 48 of 52 buildings in the Royal Gorge Park destroyed by the fire. Aerial Tram burned, Bridge ok.
- 20% Containment
5:02 p.m. - Black Forest wildfire damage is about 8000 acres. 92 homes estimated lost, 0 percent contained.
5:01 p.m. - Royal Gorge wildfire damage is 3000 acres, now 20 percent contained. 20 structures lost.
5:00 p.m. - Black Hills Energy crews continue to work with local authorities at both wildfire locations to ensure safety of customers, firefighters, and employees.
5:00 p.m. - The number of natural gas customer outage count has increased to 2,800 based upon new evacuations.
11:30 a.m. - All residential electric customers restored in Fremont County. Power restored to all but 8 commercial customers.
8:30 p.m. - “Our dedicated electric and natural gas employees have been working tirelessly at the scene since the fire erupted on Tuesday afternoon." Read the full news release here.
Frequently Asked Questions
All Black Hills Energy (BHE) gas systems and approximately 3700 customers were shut off within an area north of Stapleton Road; east of Highway 83; south of Hodgen Road and west of Meridian Road that were included in the evacuation orders.
We are working under the direction of the El Paso County Response Unit in a coordinated effort for the safety of our customers. As soon as we are permitted, we will assess damage to our infrastructure and begin restoration efforts. At this point, restoration times may vary significantly.
Yes, utility services were automatically interrupted. For BHE gas lines, we turned off our main gas lines throughout the week. We will have to individually turn off your meter, before turning the main lines back on. Then we will leak test the lines as an additional safety precaution. We strongly urge no one attempt to relight gas service at their home. Black Hills Energy has brought in personnel from across Colorado, as well as from out-of-state to assist in this process.
As part of our safety procedures, we began disconnecting services as areas were evacuated. Shutting the gas off reduces the potential for fueling the fire if it reaches the area and is critical to public safety when we restore service.
If you have been allowed to return home, no continued service impacts or safety concerns are expected. Construction and operations crews will need to perform thorough safety inspections and necessary repairs to the system prior to restoring service and re-lighting pilot lights. We expect this could be a lengthy process.
If at any time you suspect a gas leak, (rotten egg or distinct odor, hissing sound near a gas line or gas appliance, or bubbles above a buried gas line after watering or rain) leave the area immediately and then call our emergency line at 800-694-8989 or call 911.
Upon returning to your home, you will notice that Black Hills Energy has placed a yellow stake by the road. A yellow stake indicates that your natural gas service is ready to be restored, and you can call us at 888-890-5554 for a technician to come to your home. If there is not yet a stake at your residence upon returning, customers are still welcome to contact us to request a relight. After service has been restored, we will place a green stake at the street indicating that service has been restored. Please leave stakes in the ground for the next week as we work to expedite service.
Safety is and will be our top priority throughout this process. Our teams are working from sunrise to sundown each day and our goal is to restore service as soon as possible. Our plan for restoration is to reintroduce gas to the system and purge the lines. We will also perform leak surveys of the entire area. Then we will begin to relight each customer’s service.
You will need to call us to request a relight. We will have our personnel in the area as long as necessary. To schedule your relight, you can call our Customer Contact line at 888-890-5554 anytime.
We will leave a tag on your door with instructions to call us and let us know when you will be home. Our call center will make an appointment to dispatch a service technician to your home.
We have set up a special telephone number, Colorado Wildfire Status 888-730-3533, for the fire evacuees to call us if they have questions or would like updates.
Please call our customer contact center, they are aware of the situation and will work with you on any situation, and we are looking into options for reasonable solutions regarding utility bill relief for evacuees and impacted customers.
We have already brought in as many crews as can be effectively managed, from across CO and from neighboring states, in addition to working with local contractors. All persons working to restore your natural gas service will be happy to provide a Black Hills Energy picture identification (or Colorado Springs Utilities who is supporting our efforts).
Please call Mountain View Electric Association at 800-388-9881 for questions about your electric service. Note: If you do not have electricity, you will not be able to pump water from your well.