Wildfires raging in Colorado have led to evacuation orders affecting as many as 32,000 residents around Colorado Springs.”It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told the AP after flying over the fire. “It’s almost surreal. You look at that, and it’s like nothing I’ve seen before.”
A new fire that started Saturday at Waldo Canyon, west of Colorado Springs, was 5 per cent contained when 65-mph wind gusts sent it surging toward homes on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. It has consumed 15,324 acres thus far, according to the Denver Post.
“We are in a very critical situation now. Unfortunately we do have structures and homes that are burning in the northwest corner of Colorado Springs. We have mandatory evacuation over a considerable area,” fire information officer Rob Deyerberg said.
Photo: Flickr/The National Guard
The fires have reached the ridge above the Air Force Academy’s 28-square-mile campus north of Colorado Springs, which has told more than 2,100 residents to evacuate 600 households while giving no word on whether 1,045 cadets would report as scheduled on Thursday.
The Academy issued a statement saying that the military was preparing to dispatch up to 25 more helicopters to join the firefighting effort while four Air Force C-130 cargo planes were already dropping flame-retardant chemicals over the blaze.
Firefighters have been working in record-setting heat —nearly a week of 100-plus-degree days and low humidity— as the fires are fuelled by prolonged drought. Most of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana are under warnings of extreme fire danger.
On a thread on Reddit, one user named “im_okay” wrote: “I’m currently in the middle of all this. People I know have been evacuated and some have lost their houses. It feels like the end of the world here.”
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