Your browser does not currently support JavaScript.

If your are using Netscape 2 or later then you can enable JavaScript.

Version 2 or 3: Choose Options|Network Preferences, choose the Languages tab, click Enable Javascript and then click OK.

Version 4: Choose Edit|Preferences|Advanced, click Enable JavaScript and then click OK.

With Internet Explorer 5: Go to Tools Menu|Internet Options, Security Tab and click on the Custom Level. Then select disable active scripting under the scripting section.

Rebuilding After the Fire: How to Get Started

What do I need to do to start the rebuilding process?

Start with your insurance company. Get a General Contractor involved early in the process so you don’t have to know everything. Pikes Peak Regional Building Department has more specific information about your unique rebuilding needs.

What does my insurance cover?

Your homeowner’s insurance basically covers three separate things: to repair and rebuild your home, replace personal belongings and additional costs to live elsewhere while your home is uninhabitable or being rebuilt.  However, your insurance contract has certain limits based on the amount you purchased and even extra coverage for debris removal, so contact your insurance company to have an adjuster inspect your property and discuss your coverage. They will tell you what is covered and what is not covered.

Click these two links to download a PDF with more detail about structural restoration or restoring utilities, see

If your home was not affected by the fire or you do not have a home on your lot, skip below.

If your home was damaged by the fire, please see the below chart on basic next steps: 

How do I clean up debris?

It depends.  Debris removal is covered by insurance up to certain limits, so start there to find out how much coverage you have under your policy.  For home debris, speak with a qualified general contractor that will work in cooperation with your insurance company.

Helpful resources:

For yard debris on private lots, it is currently the homeowner’s responsibility to remove yard debris, although the City and County are working to coordinate options. When choosing a contractor, please use a qualified, local contractor.

Call 719-327-2880 to speak with PPRBD’s contractor licensing department.

What about hazardous waste?

Any qualified and licensed contractor has the responsibility to dispose of hazardous materials properly. If you are dropping off material, the El Paso County Hazardous Waste Facility (3255 Akers Dr) accepts a variety of chemicals, electronics, medical waste and other basic recyclables. 

To learn more:

Are you planning to clean up your own property?

Rented dumpsters placed in the right-of-way may require a revocable permit (available from the City’s Planning Department). Please see the links below for specific information on smoke damage, health concerns and how to deal with debris safely. 

How long will it take for me to rebuild if I get started right away?

Rebuilding will take time and depends on the damage to your property as well as the stages of debris removal and reconstruction needed. With so many homes affected, safety and structural integrity are critical to successful rebuilding and this type of review takes time.  Teams from the City of Colorado Springs, the Regional Building Department, El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities and local contractors are working on making this process as efficient as possible, but it will take time.

What kind of permits do I need to rebuild or repair my home?

There a variety of different kind of permits that may be required and houses will need to be rebuilt in a fashion compliant with updated building codes. A licensed contractor should be able to help you determine the right kind of permits.  If you would like to build on an existing foundation, a structural engineer makes the determination about whether the foundation is sound.

Who is responsible for damage on my property?

If the land is public right of way (streets, medians, etc), it is the City or County’s responsibility for damage.  If it is on private property, it is the private property owner’s responsibility to work on the damage.

What isn’t being said here?

This serves as a basic guideline only: there are many circumstances that are specific to your situation and insurance companies and contractors operate differently. This level of devastation is unprecedented and all the parties involved are working hard to make it as easy as possible to move forward, but rebuilding takes time.

See for information on:

Waldo Canyon Fire Cleanup Recommendations (PDF) Handling Smoke Damage After a Fire: Getting Soot and Smoke Out (PDF)
Health Recommendations for Wildfire Smoke (PDF) Protecting Yourself from Heat Stress (PDF)
Safe Cleanup After a Fire (PDF) Wildfire Cleanup: Protecting Your Lungs (PDF)
Air Quality Update Public Health FAQs: Waldo Canyon Fire (PDF)
Fire Suppressant Safety Information (PDF) Insurance Claims Settlement Process


For more information on preparing for emergencies, please visit the El Paso County Emergency Preparedness Site. or Colorado Springs City Emergency Management.

If you would like more information on recovery, please visit El PAso County's Disaster Recovery site. has information on the health aspects of Coping with a Disaster

Post Fire Clean Up Guidelines

WildfireCleanupGuideance21.pdf, 246.8 KB
(Requires Adobe Acrobat )

Please download this document to review Post-Fire Cleanup Safety guidelines from El Paso County Health Department.

Safe Clean Up After a Fire

FINALSafe Cleanup After a Fire1.pdf, 378.1 KB
(Requires Adobe Acrobat )

Please download this document to review sifting safety precautions.

List of Helpful Phone Numbers

DRCPhoneNumbers1.doc, 249.5 KB

Download this document for a list of helpful phone numbers, including city resources, charities and insurance companies.