It’s been a devastating few days in Colorado Springs as the Waldo Canyon Fire tore through neighborhoods, devouring hundreds of homes along the way. I was watching the live stream from KKTV when the fire first began to descend from the mountainside, and the station highlighted the #WaldoCanyonFire hashtag immediately underneath its live bug:
That’s the first time I’ve seen a persistent on-air hashtag — for the story itself — in the first few hours of a major breaking event. The hashtag streams on Twitter and Instagram were amazingly comprehensive; it seemed every resident, reporter and government agency were in sync on the hashtag. In many ways, airing a hashtag so prominently proved to be community service.
By the way, both KRDO and KKTV have been using their Facebook pages to encourage a steady stream of eyewitness posts from residents, much like we’ve seen over the last year with natural disasters in other markets. Both stations have changed their Facebook cover photos during the story (KKTV’s includes emergency numbers), which is another nice touch.