Waldo Canyon Fire Forces 32,000 Residents To Evacuate

The wildfire in Colorado continues to grow and more and more people are being forced to flee their homes. Last night, the Waldo Canyon fire doubled in size, forcing officials to issue a mandatory evacuation for 32,000 people.

CBS reports that the fire currently covers about 24 square miles. Mercury News reports that the Waldo Canyon fire has consumed 15,324 acres and is now nearing Colorado Springs, the state’s second largest city.

No injuries have been reported yet but several homes have been destroyed.

According to Steve Cox, an aide to Mayor Steve Bach, the fire has destroyed “dozens” of houses. An exact number is not known at this time.

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown also refused to give an exact number but did say that his department is on the “offensive” and is doing everything it can to save homes.

Brown said:

“We’re in an offensive position. We’re doing everything we can to save homes…. Our people have been fighting that all night long — they’re fighting while we speak.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper, who surveyed the fire from a helicopter, said:

“It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine… It’s almost surreal. You look at that, and it’s like nothing I’ve seen before.”

Mercury News notes that the Waldo Canyon Fire isn’t the only wildfire burning its way through Colorado. The High Park fire, west of Fort Collins, has already destroyed 87,250 acres. The High Park Fire has destroyed more than 250 homes and is considered the most destructive in state history.

Hickenlooper said:

“The bottom line is we’re just going to have to work through this — all of us…. We just flew over the fires. … It was like looking at a military invasion.”