Colorado is having its worst wildfire season in over a decade with many of the fires threatening major population centers. Check the bolded sentence from this story below:
Half the nation's firefighting fleet is now battling fires in Colorado, said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. He said C-130 military transport planes from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs would begin assisting on Monday.
With eight wildfires burning, including a fire that has scorched more than 118 square miles and destroyed at least 191 homes near Fort Collins, Colorado is having its worst wildfire season in a decade.
These wildfires are spread across the front range of Colorado from Ft. Collins in the north (home of my alma mater Colorado State University) to Colorado Springs in the south. Fires are also blazing in Southwestern Colorado and near the mining communities of Leadville and Alma not far from many ski resorts.
One new resident gives her impressions of what the fires that forced her and her family from her home and then from the hotel in which they were staying, looked like:
We're used to flooding and tornadoes, nothing like this," said Amanda Rice, who recently moved to the area from Rock Falls, Ill. Rice, her husband, four children and dog left a Manitou Springs hotel late Saturday.The High Park fire in Larimer County (Northen Colorado) alone has burned 83,000 acres. Some video from the High Park fire in Northern Colorado:
Rice, scared when she saw flames, took her family to the evacuation center before she was told to go.
"It was just this God-awful orange glow. It was surreal. It honestly looked like hell was opening up," Rice said Sunday.
In total, 8 wildfires are blazing in Colorado, involving nearly a hundred thousand acres and requiring the evacuation of thousands of people. High temperatures in the upper 90's and in some places over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and wind have contributed to the difficulty firefighters are facing in combating these out of control fires. An eerie red glow can be seen emanating behind the front range mountains and foothills and great pillars of smoke, with flames reaching upwards of 100 feet.
The outlook is not promising as high temperatures and high winds are forecast for the immediate future, making fighting the fires all that more difficult.
The outlook is not encouraging with hot and windy weather expected to continue to fan the flames, Rick Sallinger of CBS Denver station KCNC-TV reported Monday on "CBS This Morning." Temperatures are expected to hit the high 90's for at least the next two days.Other fires are to be found in Utah, New Mexico, and California. This is only June. What might we see in the coming months. For me personally, a former resident of Colorado who lived there for nearly 30 years of my life this is a tragedy. I know many of the places that are burning or may soon be overwhelmed with smoke and flames. Pikes Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, The Garden of the Gods -- these are places I have visited, seen, camped in. My heart is breaking at the scenes of devastation I've witnesses in videos and pictures.