Wildfires Are Tearing Through Colorado Springs Again

colorado wild fireA wildfire rages on in Black Forest, Colorado June 12, 2013. Its thick, bone-dry forests have contributed to the blaze.

A wildfire is ripping through the Black Forest northeast of Colorado Springs, leading to the destruction of at least 92 homes and evacuation orders affecting more than 10,000 area residents, Thomas Peipert of AP reports.

A separate wildfire to the southwest damaged the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, one of the state’s top tourist attractions, and prompted evacuations of 1,000 medium-security prison inmates.

Other fires have been sparked in the area, several sparked by lightning and fuelled by hot temperatures and changing gusts.

The U.S. Forest Service has mobilized a pair of defence Department cargo planes to help, and Gov. John Hickenlooper authorised $10.15 million to help pay for firefighting costs after declaring disaster emergencies for the Black Forest and Royal Gorge fires.

colorado fireLarge plumes of smoke from a wildfire burning in the Black Forest stretch the horizon threatening homes north east of Colorado Springs, Colorado June 11, 2013.

Last June wildfires engulfed part of the Colorado Springs area, destroying hundreds of homes and leading to evacuation orders affecting 32,000 residents in nearby Waldo Canyon.Peipert notes that wildfires — many of them lightning-sparked — were also burning in New Mexico, Oregon, and California, where a smokejumper died fighting a blaze.

colorado fireSchad and Melisa Dohl watch a wall of flames as it rages through Black Forest, Colorado June 12, 2013.

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