updated - May 18, 2013 Saturday EDT
By Zanub Saeed
Over 32,000 people were ordered to evacuate from their homes and the areas of Colorado Springs and parts of the El Paso County due to the destruction the Waldo Canyon fires are causing this week throughout the state, said The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. The fire was said to be within their city limits.
The high winds throughout Colorado, going as fast as 60 miles per hour, are rushing the fires throughout the western state and have so far consumed over 15,517 acres of land, with that number expected to rise, as told by fire information officer Rob Dyerberg in an interview with The LA Times on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, the fires took out over 6,200 acres of land, with the number rapidly increasing.
"The good news is that there have been no significant injuries, to our knowledge," Dyerberg told The Los Angeles Times. "The good news is that firefighters have saved thousands of homes, but the bad news is that we have lost some."
The evacuated area, in addition to Colorado Springs, included parts of the U.S. Air Force Academy, said the Times, noting that new cadets will be trained at the Cadet Field House instead of Doolittle Hall. The Waldo Canyon fire has destroyed the tourist area known as Pikes Peak, and has had smoking reaching as high as 20,000 feet in the area in the vicinity, stated the Times.
Officials said that as of Wednesday, over 1,000 people were fighting to stop the fire, and would be aided by the fact that temperatures will go down later in the week, compared to the over 100-degree weather felt in Colorado earlier in the week, said The Los Angeles Times. So far only five percent of the Waldo Canyon fire has been contained since it began this past weekend, and has had no confirmed cause.
"It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine," Gov. John Hickenlooper said after flying over the fire late Tuesday, noted the Times. "It's almost surreal. You look at that, and it's like nothing I've seen before."
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