Wildfire soars near Colorado’s major tourist sites, displaces thousands

Wildfire soars near Colorado’s major tourist sites, displaces thousands

Colorado Springs : CO : USA | Jun 26, 2012 at 3:53 AM PDT
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55 Colorado Springs Attractions in 5 Days - Day 4

Driven by a new relentless heat wave, a wildfire is roaring around some of Colorado’s major tourist spots and has reportedly forced around 4800 people in the surrounding area to abandon their homes. Colorado is experiencing one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent time as the heat wave is soaring and spreading the flames further.

According to fire officials the Waldo Canyon Fire near Manitou Springs began on Saturday and broke across the 3,500 acres of land. Moreover, with temperatures well above 90 and the summer winds blowing through the mountain, around 450 firefighters were battling the blaze, experiencing tough time on Tuesday.

“The highway that leads up to Pikes Peak has been closed since shortly after the fire erupted on Saturday, as has the popular Garden of the Gods, a city-owned park encompassing scenic geologic formations such as tall, rocky spires and oddly balanced boulders,” Reuters reported.

It is pertinent to mention here that recently many explosive wildfires have been reported across much of the West, with the State of New Mexico witnessing the largest wildfire in its history which destroyed nearly 300,000 acres of land.

Meanwhile, firefighters are reportedly getting complete control over the Dump Fire in Utah. Besides, evacuation orders were taken off on Saturday prior to which the fire forced thousands of people to leave their homes. However the order was extended for some other mountain communities around Colorado Springs.

Talking to New York Times, Rob Deyerberg, a fire information officer for El Paso County, said, “We’ve got near-record-setting temperatures and extremely low moisture. It’s going to be another challenging day.”

Latest reports suggest that the firefighters have gained 5 percent control over the fire that was anticipated to further burn houses and cause injuries. Speaking to a news conference Mayor Steve Bach of Colorado Springs said that he was pleased to see aircraft able to fight the fire, given the extreme weather conditions.

Meanwhile the mountains and main tourist sites near Colorado Springs have been masked with a smoky haze and the city was abuzz with talks about the fire’s advancements.

According to Tom Tidwell, Chief of the United States Forest Service, more than half of the nation’s firefighters fighting wide scale wildfires are now focused in Colorado.

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Fire continues to burn near homes in the Waldo Canyon fire west of Colorado Springs
Fire continues to burn near homes in the Waldo Canyon fire west of Colorado Springs
Kamran Ahmed is based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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