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Colorado Wildfires/Waldo Canyon

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While the fire near Fort Collins continues to grow at 87,000 acres, tonight the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs has exploded.  The numbers haven't been updated since early today, but it's clear this fire took dozens of homes today and thousands of additional acres.  I suspect that tomorrow will reveal a fire that tops 20k acres.

To complicate matters, we had a dry lightning storm roll through around 4-6pm today that likely started another half-dozen fires spread throughout the foothills west of Denver.  Uggh.  Just on of these near Boulder started a fire around 1:15pm and by 4:30pm it was already 300 acres.  Given that we got just enough rain to make things lay down for a few hours, I suspect by 4pm tomorrow we'll be looking at another level of complexity for the state.

Josh the Aspie:
I hope that the people that need to evacuate manage too, and that folks will learn to let small fires burn, to make these big ones more manageable.

In a year like this, you can't let a damn thing burn.  Every lightning strike is becoming a major fire taking many homes.  Looking at the latest, there could be several hundred homes lost tonight in Colorado Springs.

Josh the Aspie:
Yeeeeouch.  I meant in general, so that under-brush and such are taken care of FOR years like this (less fuel for the fires), but I take your point.

I'm just frustrated.  I've been on dozens of fires in my life, from Yellowstone in 1988 to the Hayman fire in 2002 and with big fires like this, there's nothing you can do but pray the wind stops, the rain comes and the temperatures fall into the 70s.  Tonight was a combination of the hottest day ever in June in Colorado (105F officially in Denver), single digit relative humidity (4-9%), and 65mph winds kicking up late in the afternoon.  The fire had been advancing north and west all day long, then turned hard to the east, taking out the northwest corner of a large section of Colorado Springs.  I wouldn't be surprised to hear about multiple deaths in the morning, too, as fast as this fire moved.  Those without reverse 911 likely had no warning until it was too late.


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