Raging Wildfires Spread in Colorado, Threaten the State’s Second Largest City

Posted June 27th, 2012 at 6:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Flames are spreading quickly across Colorado where firefighters are battling to save homes and lives.

Officials said Wednesday the Waldo Canyon Fire had doubled in size to more than 6,200 hectares. They said the flames are so intense that it is difficult to assess the damage.

The fire has forced some 32,000 people to evacuate their homes in the state's second largest city, Colorado Springs. Many residents were forced to leave a lifetime of possessions behind, hoping the flames will stay away.

The fire has burned numerous homes, including a historic ranch that attracts hundreds of tourists each year.

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown says the fire has reached “epic proportions.”

President Barack Obama telephoned Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Wednesday, telling him that federal authorities will use all of their resources to help local officials fight the flames. Mr. Obama plans to go to Colorado on Friday to survey the damage.

The Waldo Canyon Fire started last Saturday in Pike National Forest. Several days of hot weather have fueled the fires. Daytime temperatures have soared to more than 37 degrees Celsius.

The Waldo Canyon Fire is one of several massive wildfires that have raged across much of the western United States in recent weeks. One person has been confirmed dead in a wildfire in the state of Utah.