Mass evacuations ordered as wildfires rage in Colorado
By Jenny Deam and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times June 27, 2012, 6:41 p.m.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Marking the worst fire season in Colorado history, three major blazes are burning uncontrolled in the Rocky Mountain state, destroying hundreds of homes, prompting mass evacuations in Colorado Springs and threatening the city of Boulder 100 miles away.
For weeks, Colorado has been in a state of siege as the mammoth High Park fire raged unhindered in mountain wilderness west of Fort Collins, destroying 257 rural homesteads and cabins, while residents of cities and suburbs to the east held their collective breath and prayed that the flames would not reach them.
Experts are warning already fire-weary Coloradans that this could be the new routine for their state — that the blazes could rage all summer until the arrival of the autumn rains.
On Wednesday, the Waldo Canyon fire, named for a popular hiking area west of the state's second-largest city, Colorado Springs, continued to burn unchecked. It prompted the evacuation of 32,000 people in the metropolitan area of 600,000, including portions of the U.S. Air Force Academy. .................(more)