It has been considered the worst fire season in the state’s recorded history. Fires burn on, and out of control in western, central and eastern Colorado, scorching the rolling hills and mountains west of Colorado Springs and in the eastern plains. All in all, 8 different fires are raging. Sizes of the fires near Colorado Springs doubled overnight, sending thousands on evacuation routes. 32,000 residents were ordered to evacuate, as the fires crept into western neighborhoods of Colorado’s second largest city. News helicopters flew to burned regions at first-light and were able to capture footage of many homes that smoldered as coals and ash on visible foundations.
Referred to as the Waldo Canyon wildfire in the Colorado Springs area, this fire is just one example of an incredibly bad early burn for many areas in North and Central America. The Waldo Canyon fire started on Saturday, and has now burned over 15,000 acres. The blaze is threatening to breach the property which houses The United States Air Force Academy, as firefighters can offer little to no good news–only a small amount of the fire has been contained. The Academy has been evacuated.
The region, which is known for pleasantly warm temperatures in early summer, has been nothing less than extremely hot. Colorado Springs and Denver have experienced multiple days of 100 degree heat, breaking records and creating an ideal environment for wildfires to easily catch with a simple lightning strike, as electrical clouds move through the mountainous region. Add to the extreme temperatures several wind gusts over 60 mph, and it is a true recipe for disaster.
There is a chance of rain north of Colorado Springs in Denver, yet the storms will possess plenty of electricity and potential for sparking more issues.