Massive Wildfire Headed Toward Colo. Mountain Town - WSPA.com

Massive Wildfire Headed Toward Colo. Mountain Town

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A massive wildfire is headed toward a Colorado mountain town, and fire managers say the chances of saving it are slim. A massive wildfire is headed toward a Colorado mountain town, and fire managers say the chances of saving it are slim.

 

Massive Wildfire Headed Toward Colo. Mountain Town
Updated: June 21, 2013

A massive wildfire is headed toward a Colorado mountain town, and fire managers say the chances of saving it are slim.

The tourist town of South Fork was evacuated Friday morning as the 47-square-mile acre West Fork Fire moved closer. Wildland firefighters were teaming up with local firefighters to try to save the town, which is surrounded by forest.

Fire spokesman Penny Bertram says officials rate the chances of saving the town of about 400 full-time residents as "low to moderate."

Bertram says the hot, dry and windy weather along with large stands of beetle-killed trees are causing extreme fire behavior. While most fires actively burn four hours a day, this one is burning for 12.

The fictional Griswold family camped in South Fork in 1983's "National Lampoon's Vacation."

Colo. Firefighters Could Get More Help From Rain
Updated: June 17, 2013

Firefighters are hoping for more help from rainy weather today as they try to put out hot spots from Colorado's most-destructive wildfire ever.

Yesterday, a steady rain moved through the densely-wooded area near Colorado Springs as crews worked to prevent flare-ups that could burn other homes still standing in the fire zone.

Nearly 500 houses have been burned by the 22-square-mile fire, which is about two-thirds contained. Crews hope to have it fully under control by Thursday.

Authorities are telling people who live within the burn area that there is still more work to do before they'll be allowed to return to their homes. They say roads and downed power lines have to be repaired.

To the southwest, a wildfire that destroyed 48 buildings at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is fully contained. A fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, which has burned about 600 acres, is 75 percent contained.

In New Mexico, crews have contained the majority of the 94 square miles of wildfires raging through the state.

Firefighters Holding Line On Colorado Wildfire
Updated: June 14, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.

Firefighters are holding the line on a wildfire near Colorado Springs that has destroyed 379 homes and may have killed two people as they tried to escape.

The fire remained at 25 square miles Friday thanks to lighter winds and firefighters quickly stamping out flare-ups. Incident commander Rich Harvey says deputies patrolling for looters helped direct crews to dozens of hot spots.

For the first time since the fire started Tuesday, authorities seem optimistic that they can stop it. Harvey says they were moving toward turning the corner.

A day after announcing the deaths and record-breaking destruction, El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa even made a joke about the weather. He asked everyone to wash their cars in hopes of raising the chances of rain.

Colorado Wildfire Gets Worse
Updated: June 14, 2013 at 8 a.m.

Fire officials say the wildfire that's burning northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., is worse than last year's blaze that killed two people and burned 347 homes. 

This year's fire in El Paso County has destroyed at least 360 homes and also has resulted in the deaths of two people who were trying to evacuate. 

They were among some 39,000 people given orders to leave the area and part of the city of Colorado Springs. 

There are other wildfires burning in Colorado, as well as in New Mexico, Oregon and California.

Two Bodies Found In Area Burned By Wildfire
Updated: June 13, 2013 at 10:35 p.m.

A sheriff says remains of two people have been found in an area burned by a wildfire northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa says one person who was reported missing Wednesday was found safe, but crews on Thursday found the remains of another person reported missing. About an hour later they found the remains of a second person.

The Black Forest Fire has destroyed at least 360 houses, and an estimated 40,000 people, including some in Colorado Springs, have been ordered to leave their homes.

The blaze is now the most destructive in Colorado history.

360-plus Homes Destroyed In Colo. Springs Wildfire
Updated: June 13, 2013 at 6:35 a.m.

A wildfire burning near Colorado Springs has destroyed at least 360 homes, making it the most destructive in state history.

El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa said Thursday that deputies still haven't been able to verify the condition of 79 homes as the wildfire continues to burn. So it's possible the figure could rise even higher.

The fire is burning near where the Waldo Canyon fire burned 347 homes last year. It was previously the most destructive in Colorado history.

Homes Burned Near Colo. Springs Could Approach 100
Updated: June 12, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.

The number of houses destroyed by a wildfire near Colorado Springs could grow to around 100, and the sheriff says unpredictable winds still make it a dangerous blaze.

Authorities initially estimated that between 40 and 60 houses were destroyed, but they are still surveying the damage. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Wednesday he believes around 80 have been lost and he wouldn't be surprised if the figure reaches or tops 100.

Maketa says there are no reports of anyone missing in the fire. However, he says some people stayed behind and he fears some may have died.

Around 7,000 people over 47 square miles have been evacuated by the Black Forest Fire, which started Tuesday.

4 Major Wildfires Burning in Colorado, Thousands Evacuated
Posted: June 12, 2013 at 5:28 a.m.

At least four major wildfires have broken out along the Rocky Mountain front in Colorado.

Hot, gusty weather has been spreading flames quickly. Thick smoke plumes have been billowing from fires near Colorado Springs, in southern Colorado, and in Rocky Mountain National Park to the north.

The El Paso County sheriff says a wildfire in a residential area northeast of Colorado Springs has forced mandatory evacuations of more than 1,000 homes. About eight homes have burned, but the sheriff had no exact number because the fire was moving too quickly. He says firefighters have shifted from evacuation mode to search and rescue mode.

In southern Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management said three structures have been lost in a fire on about 300 acres near the Royal Gorge Bridge. Authorities evacuated Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.

A third wildfire in southern Colorado erupted Tuesday in rural Huerfano County, prompting evacuation orders to about 200 residences northeast of the fire.

A fourth wildfire sparked by lightning Monday in Rocky Mountain National Park has grown to an estimated 300 to 400 acres, but no structures are threatened.

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