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News Link • Natural Disasters

Wildfire forces thousands from homes near Colorado Springs

•, By Keith Coffman

The wildfire in the Pike National Forest, known as the Waldo Canyon Fire, has consumed about 2,000 acres (809 hectares) in less than a day and triggered evacuation orders for 11,000 people from those communities.

  No buildings had been lost as of Sunday morning, but the flames could threaten houses if the wind shifts, said emergency worker Rob Deyerberg at the fire joint information center. 

"This is a very, very volatile situation," Deyerberg said.

  About 6,200 people were cleared from Manitou Springs, fire department spokesman Dave Hunting said. Authorities also ordered residents to leave Green Mountain Falls, Chipita Park and Cascade, according to the fire incident command. 

Several wildfires were burning in Colorado, including the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins, where firefighters girded for another day of battling flames, high temperatures, low relative humidity and erratic wind.

  The High Park Fire - already the second-largest on record in the state, and its most destructive ever - had reached 81,190 acres (32,856 hectares) in steep canyons and has continued to spread west into inaccessible areas. 

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