Skooter reporting 06/25/12
More than a dozen Colorado homes over the weekend were destroyed by wildfires and prompting evacuation thousands more while blanketing top state tourist destinations in smoke and clearing out hotels and campgrounds ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
Colorado is having its most horrible wildfire season in a decade with more than a half dozen forest fires burning. The latest fire occurred was a blaze near Colorado Springs, grew to more than 3 square miles Sunday after breaking out just a day earlier and provoking evacuation orders for 11,000 residents and an undetermined number of tourists.
The fire sent trail of gray and white smoke over the area that masked at times Pikes Peak, the highest mountain in the nation and inspiration for the song "America The Beautiful."
Winds had started to blow smoke away from Colorado Springs and evacuations were ordered stopped for the 5,000 residents of nearby Manitou Springs, but residents in the area and tourists still watched shockingly as haze wrapped around the peak.
Colorado Gov.said that half the nation's firefighting fleet is now battling fires in Colorado. He said C-130 military transport planes from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs would begin assisting on Monday.