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News Link • Evacuations & Catastrophe

Waldo Canyon fire forces 11,000 people from their homes

•, By Kurtis Lee

The Waldo Canyon fire, which officials here called "very aggressive," spread in three directions and displaced about 11,000 people from their homes as fires continued to burn statewide Sunday.

Nearly half that total — about 5,000 living in Manitou Springs — were allowed to return to their homes beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday. Mandatory evacuations remained in place for Cascade, Green Mountain Falls and Chipita Park.

Situated several miles west of Colorado Springs, the fire — which for many residents in this southern Colorado city became a spectacle — charred at least 2,500 acres and forced evacuations of about 4,000 homes in El Paso County.

"This is a day we've
long dreaded would come," Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.

While officials reported no structural damage at the afternoon news conference, the fire remained at zero containment, with another acreage assessment slated for this morning.

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