Colorado’s second-largest city is under mandatory evacuation order as a monster of a wildfire scorches residential areas east of Colorado Springs, destroying hundreds of homes and displacing tens of thousands of residents.
Although it is not the worst of the three fires burning simultaneously across the state, the 15,000-acre Black Forest fire had destroyed 360 homes by Thursday afternoon, a sharp increase from about 100 homes consumed late Wednesday.
Governor John Hickenlooper issued 3 disaster emergencies, authorizing a combined $10.15 million to help pay for firefighting and other costs.
The evacuation order applies to much of the eastern half of Colorado Springs, including several densely populated residential areas, and the evacuation zone now covers 94,000 acres. “The winds yesterday really stirred the fire and pushed it off in quite a few different directions,” El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said Thursday. “Wind is probably our number one threat. It is what has been the game changer. It is what has changed the conditions. I don’t know any other word to describe it but ‘very dynamic.’”
“Load your family and pets, and GO NOW,” the sheriff’s office said. WeatherBug hopes that all residents are safe and pray for a speedy recovery. Be strong.