Colorado Wildfires Burn Dozens of Homes, Force Thousands to Flee
Posted by feww on June 12, 2013
Major wildfires fueled by record temperatures, strong winds and low humidity threaten thousands of homes in Colorado
Four major wildfires burning across Colorado have destroyed dozens of homes and forced thousands to flee, including 900 inmates from a state prison.
Black Forest Fire, a wildfire which has consumed about 10,000 acres in a heavily wooded residential area northeast of Colorado Springs, forced the authorities to issue evacuations orders for more than 2,300 homes, forcing about 6,400 people to flee the area, according to El Paso County Sheriff. The blaze is currently at “zero percent containment.”
As of Tuesday night, “between 40 and 60 homes” had been destroyed,” said Sheriff Maketa. “You can easily assume that [the number] is higher than that.”
“Right now, the firefighters are more focused on fighting fires, drawing lines. And law enforcement, to be very honest, is scrambling to get people out of there as well as do searches,” said Maketa, adding that firefighters had shifted from evacuation phase to search-and-rescue mode.
“Weather is not working with us right now, but our guys are giving it a heck of a shot,” he said.
The fire is burning in an area close to last summer’s devastating Waldo Canyon Fire that destroyed 346 homes and killed several people.
“It’s very, very reminiscent of what we experienced in Waldo Canyon,” Maketa said.
Royal Gorge Fire
In southern Colorado, a 4,000-acre fire dubbed Royal Gorge Fire has destroyed at least three structures near the Royal Gorge Bridge and forced evacuation of “Old Max,” the Territorial Prison in Cañon City. Authorities have since evacuated Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. [Cause under investigation.]
Burning also in southern Colorado, the Klikus Fire has consumed about 200 acres west of La Veta in Huerfano County, prompting mandatory evacuation of more than 200 residences. [Cause unknown.]
Rocky Mountain National Park Fire
A fourth wildfire has been burning in Rocky Mountain National Park since Monday. The fast moving blaze had grown to about 500 acres by Tuesday night, but it wasn’t threatening any structures, authorities said. [Sparked by lightning.]
Red Flag Warnings
Red Flag Warning are in effects for parts of Colorado, Utah, California and Arizona, as well as most of Nevada, NWS said.
Excessive Heat Warning
Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect for portions of south-central Arizona that include NW and north-central Pinal County, and Maricopa County including the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
The afternoon temperatures in the region are forecast to climb to 112 degrees, warned NWS.
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