Yuletide tree tradition survives summer fire

COLORADO SPRINGS Ė The most destructive wildfire in Colorado history leveled hundreds of homes, but didnít touch a cherished tradition in Pike National Forest near Colorado Springs Ė cutting live Christmas trees.

The U.S. Forest Service says last summerís Waldo Canyon Fire didnít touch the area of the forest where generations have gone to cut live Christmas trees. Each year, about 5,000 people buy $10 permits to cut a tree.

Christmas tree seekers can choose from lodgepole, limber and ponderosa pine as well as Engelmann spruce and Douglas fir. Chain saws are not allowed.

Permits can be obtained from Nov. 26 to Dec. 12. Families are limited to five trees.

The Waldo Canyon Fire erupted June 23, and it went on to kill two people and damage or destroy 359 homes.

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