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Phoenix

Razed to the ground: Shocking before-and-after images reveal scale of destruction caused by fires sweeping through Colorado

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Before (above) and after (below): The devastating Colorado wildfire can be seen in two overhead images in the Colorado Springs neighbourhood of Mountain Shadows
  • 32,000 evacuated from Colorado Springs including Air Force Academy cadets as inferno spread
  • About 300 homes reportedly destroyed in Waldo Canyon Fire, which has been named the No. 1 priority for emergency crews
  • Obama to tour the disaster-stricken area on Friday to meet firefighters working around the clock
Photos of the heartbreaking devastation of the wildfires that have ravaged Colorado in the last several days have revealed piles of rubble where houses once stood before the flames engulfed the region, leaving more than 30,000 people homeless.

The photos revealed the Mountain Shadows area of Colorado Springs, where dozens of homes can be seen decimated by the fast-moving fire.

The raging wildfire that has encroached on the state's second-largest city and threatened the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Mayor Steve Bach said a more accurate account will be available later in the day of the damage from a blaze that has burned out of control for much of the week and forced more than 30,000 evacuees to frantically pack up belongings and flee.

Phoenix

Northern Cheyenne Reservation Burning

The Ashland Creek fire on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation outside Billings, Montana, continued to rage on Wednesday and Thursday, with no sign of containment, authorities said.

As it surpassed 110,000 acres on Wednesday, three towns were evacuated and the people taken to Lame Deer 21 miles away, according to KULR TV in Billings. But Lame Deer is without power, so 700 people were crowding into the shelter there looking for food and other assistance.

"We've had quite a few families that are actually displaced," Geri Small, of the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Cheyenne, to the television station. "Their homes burned, and they don't have nothing. Some don't even have their shoes on."

Phoenix

Waldo Canyon fire: About 300 homes destroyed in Colorado Springs

This aerial photo taken on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, shows burned homes in the Mountain Shadows residential area
© AP Photo/John Wark
This aerial photo taken on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, shows burned homes in the Mountain Shadows residential area of Colorado Springs, Colo., that were destroyed by the Waldo Canyon wildfire. More than 30,000 people have been displaced by the fire.

Waldo Canyon fire: No official reports on damage but the
Denver Post says at least 300 homes were burned to the ground by the Waldo Canyon fire Wednesday in Colorado Springs.

Tens of thousands of Colorado residents forced from their homes by an out-of-control wildfire took refuge with friends or family and crammed into hotels and shelters as Army troops helped firefighters protect the U.S. Air Force Academy from the flames.

The blaze was raging early Thursday in the mountains and in Colorado's second-largest city, after more than 30,000 evacuees quickly packed up belongings and fled. The wildfire was one of many burning across the parched West that have destroyed structures and prompted evacuations in Montana and Utah.

The full scope of the fire remained unknown. So intense were the flames and so thick the smoke that rescue workers weren't able to tell residents which structures were destroyed and which ones were still standing. Steve Cox, a spokesman for Mayor Steve Bach, said at least dozens of homes had been consumed.

Phoenix

Colorado wildfire of 'epic proportions' displaces 32,000; tests firefighters

Smoke from the Waldo Canyon Fire engulfs Interstate 25 north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the blaze burns out of control Tuesday, June 26. The 6,200-acre Waldo Canyon Fire has caused 32,000 residents to be evacuated. At least six other fires are acti
© CNN
Smoke from the Waldo Canyon Fire engulfs Interstate 25 north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the blaze burns out of control Tuesday, June 26. The 6,200-acre Waldo Canyon Fire has caused 32,000 residents to be evacuated. At least six other fires are active in Colorado.
Firefighters again will battle inferno-like conditions on Wednesday as they try to tame an explosive wildfire that has already chased some 32,000 residents from their homes near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"This is a firestorm of epic proportions," Richard Brown, the Colorado Springs Fire chief, said late Tuesday. Winds gusting to 65 mph through mountain canyons blew the wildfire through containment lines into northwest Colorado Springs on Tuesday afternoon.

Gov. John Hickenlooper surveyed the Waldo Canyon Fire, telling reporters it was a difficult sight to see.

"There were people's homes burned to the ground. It was surreal," he said late Tuesday night. "There's no question, it's serious. It's as serious as it gets."

The 6,200-acre fire remained only 5% contained. Officials labeled it as exhibiting "extreme fire behavior."

Evacuee: Wildfire 20 feet from home Evacuees watch and hope homes remain 'Smoke plume was coming toward us'

Phoenix

Waldo Canyon Fire: Colorado wildfire worsens, forcing 7,000 more from homes

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© Reuters/Rick Wilking
A monster Colorado wildfire raging near some of the most visited tourist areas in the state took a turn for the worse on Tuesday as hot winds pushed flames north, prompting the evacuation of 7,000 more people, officials said.

Colorado's so-called Waldo Canyon fire sent a mushroom cloud of smoke nearly 20,000 feet into the air over Colorado Springs near Pikes Peak, whose breathtaking vistas from the summit helped inspire the song "America the Beautiful".

Closer to the blaze, which has been fanned by winds blowing into the Southern Rockies from the prairies to the east, trees were visibly twisting from the heat of the flames.

The latest evacuations brought the total number of people forced from their homes to about 12,000 as the blaze posed a renewed threat to hundreds of dwellings and appeared to have roared to within about a mile of the U.S. Air Force Academy grounds in Colorado Springs.

Phoenix

Flagstaff Fire: Blaze at 200-300 acres; pre-evacuation orders for south Boulder, Colorado


Aided by a massive C-130 air tanker, Boulder County firefighters are battling a 200-to-300-acre wildfire west of Boulder this afternoon, a fast-growing and "extreme" blaze that has forced the evacuation of 26 households in the foothills and put parts of south Boulder on pre-evacuation notice.

Approximately 931 south Boulder phone numbers have been called with pre-evaucation warnings.

"We're about one ridge over from the city of Boulder," Boulder County sheriff's spokesman Rick Brough said of the fire at an afternoon press briefing.

The fire started near the 1500 block of Bison Drive in the Walker Ranch area around 1:15 p.m. and is believed to have been sparked by lightning, Brough said.

The blaze is now burning toward the northeast, Brough said.

Bizarro Earth

Second wildfire rages across Utah: 39,000 acres goes up in flames

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© Unknown
All Robin Coltharp can do is wait and watch.

"We don't even know if our property is still good or not, if it's burned," she said.

Coltharp's husband used a telescope to get a closer look at the property, which Sunday was about a mile away from area burned in the Wood Hollow Fire.

The wildfire continued to rage Sunday, covering more than 39,000 acres in Sanpete County, destroying between 25 and 30 structures and forcing evacuations of more than 200 homes. At last word, only the fire was only 4 percent contained.

Roughly 360 permanent structures and more than 200 trailers or sheds are threatened, the Summit County Sheriff's Office said.

The Coltharps live in Mt. Pleasant and own 5 acres of land on Baldy Mountain. On Sunday, they couldn't see the mountain through the thick smoke.

"We had plans of building a cabin up there," she said, "perhaps living up there."

Phoenix

Treasure Fire Burning 20 Acres Near Leadville, Colorado

leadville fire
© Junko Kazukawa
A ninth wildfire began burning near Leadville on Saturday afternoon.

The Treasure Fire has burned 20 acres near Fremont Pass, between Leadville and Copper Mountain Resort.

According to Keith McMillan of Red, White and Blue Fire Department, the wildfire is burning in forest land on the west side of State Highway 91.

Phoenix

Colorado's High Park fire at 82,190 acres; new pre-evacuation orders

The High Park fire in Colorado
© Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post
The High Park fire in Colorado burns west of Fort Collins, as seen from Highway 287 in Larimer County on Saturday.
The High Park fire has now surpassed the Missionary Ridge fire as the second largest in state history at 75,537 acres.

High Park fire officials have sent 235 pre-evacuation notices to Bonner Peak Subdivision, including Springs Ranch Road.

Issued at midnight, the pre-evacuation is also for County Road 74E, also known as Red Feather Lakes Road, from the junction of U.S. 287, west to include County Road 37, north to include County Road 76H, east to U.S. 287 and south to County Road 74E.

All residents need to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

Other evacuation orders had been sent out to 998 homes late Friday after a spot fire ignited by wind-blown embersfrom the main blaze erupted north of Poudre Canyon.

Phoenix

16 Homes Lost As Estes Park Fire Spreads




Blaze Closes South Entrance To Rocky Mountain National Park


Colorado -- A house fire spread to 15 additional homes in Estes Park around noon on Saturday.The fire, in a cabin on High Drive also spread to nearby wildland, sending a thick plume of black smoke into the sky over Estes Park.The Woodland Heights Fire was reported just after noon and was burning near the south entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was estimated at 20 acres in size at 2:30 p.m.