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Storms Fan Colorado Springs Fire

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Colorado Springs under threat as 32,000 flee Waldo fire

More than 32,000 people have fled Colorado's second-biggest city because of raging wildfires that have hit six other US states.

Traffic and smoke choked the streets as people left Colorado Springs and a nearby US Air Force Academy.

Evacuation orders were issued for much of the city as the fire doubled in size to over 24 sq miles (62 sq km). Some 800 firefighters have been deployed.

President Barack Obama is to tour the affected areas on Friday.

Just weeks into the annual wildfire season, there are also fires in Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Utah.

In Utah, a body was found in the ashes of a fast-moving wildfire to the south of Salt Lake City.

'Epic firestorm'

At a press briefing on Wednesday morning, officials in Colorado said fire crews had worked through the night. But the blaze was only 5% contained.

'Epic firestorm'

At a press briefing on Wednesday morning, officials in Colorado said fire crews had worked through the night. But the blaze was only 5% contained.

Weather conditions were not favourable.

Dry, hot temperatures are expected to continue across much of the US this week, with little chance of rain.

"We do expect all of our lines to be challenged today," incident commander Richard Harvey said, adding that erratic winds could make their job harder.

One Colorado Springs hospital said it had treated about 20 patients in the last 24 hours for respiratory-related illnesses, a local newspaper reported.

The Waldo Canyon Fire, which began on Saturday, has been fanned towards Colorado Springs by winds of up to 65mph (104km/h).

See video.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18612897

Photos from LA Times.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-colorado-springs-waldo-canyon-fire-pictures,0,6605442.photogallery?index=lat-bcpix_m698tfpd20120627081847

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As RJS mentioned in another thread.

Around Colorado Springs south of Denver, severe forest fires have forced thousands to evacuate as suburban areas come under attack from downsloping fires fed by southwest winds and temperatures at foothill elevation of 40 C (25-30 C even in the higher slopes). Lamar CO further east hit 44 C (111 F) on Tuesday.

The forecast is again for extreme temps in Colorado and elsewhere and moving east with a heat index of 100F for Friday in Washington. In the meantime they can do without anymore storms around Colorado Springs.

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I feel very sad seeing the pictures from Colorado. I know these fires are always horrible wherever they hit, but having been through Colorado it's such a beautiful place, especially Colorado Springs. Hard to see so many homes destroyed and so many thousands of acres of beautiful landscape ruined.

Hope it is brought under control ASAP before too much more damage is done.

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URGENT - FIRE WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO

218 PM MDT WED JUN 27 2012

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THURSDAY TO MIDNIGHT MDT

THURSDAY NIGHT FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS AND GUSTY OUTFLOW WINDS FOR

FIRE WEATHER ZONES 201...203...207...290...291...292 AND 293...

.ANOTHER ROUND OF ISOLATED TO SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS IS EXPECTED

THURSDAY AS HOT TEMPERATURES CONTINUE. WHILE THE CONVECTIVE

POTENTIAL REMAINS...MOISTURE WILL BEGIN TO GRADUALLY DECREASE AS

HIGH PRESSURE STARTS TO NUDGE INTO NEW MEXICO. THIS WILL RESULT IN

THE MAJORITY OF STORMS PRODUCING MINIMAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS AT THE

SURFACE ON THURSDAY.

COZ201-203-207-290>293-280900-

/O.NEW.KGJT.FW.W.0031.120628T1700Z-120629T0600Z/

ROUTT FORECAST AREA-GRAND JUNCTION FORECAST AREA-

DURANGO FORECAST AREA-PARADOX VALLEY FORECAST AREA-

NORTHERN SAN JUAN FORECAST AREA-NORTH FORK FORECAST AREA-

GUNNISON BASIN FORECAST AREA-

218 PM MDT WED JUN 27 2012

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THURSDAY TO MIDNIGHT MDT

THURSDAY NIGHT FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS AND GUSTY OUTFLOW WINDS FOR

FIRE WEATHER ZONES 201...203...207...290...291...292 AND 293...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION HAS ISSUED A RED

FLAG WARNING FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS AND GUSTY OUTFLOW WINDS...

WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THURSDAY TO MIDNIGHT MDT THURSDAY

NIGHT.

* AFFECTED AREA...

IN COLORADO...

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 201 ROUTT FORECAST AREA...

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 203 GRAND JUNCTION FORECAST AREA...

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 207 DURANGO FORECAST AREA...

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 290 PARADOX VALLEY FORECAST AREA...

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 291 NORTHERN SAN JUAN FORECAST AREA...

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 292 NORTH FORK FORECAST AREA...AND

FIRE WEATHER ZONE 293 GUNNISON BASIN FORECAST AREA.

* THUNDERSTORMS...ISOLATED TO SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP

FIRST OVER THE MOUNTAINS AND THEN MOVE TO THE EAST AND

NORTHEAST. THE MAJORITY OF STORMS WILL BE DRY...THOUGH SOME WILL

PRODUCE MARGINAL WETTING RAINFALL.

* OUTFLOW WINDS...ALL THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING

ERRATIC OUTFLOW WIND GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH.

* IMPACTS...ANY FIRE IGNITION WILL BECOME DIFFICULT TO CONTROL

WITH VERY HIGH RATES OF SPREAD POSSIBLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS

ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF

STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL

CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

PLEASE ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS AND AFFECTED FIELD

PERSONNEL OF THIS RED FLAG WARNING.

&&

post-12275-0-67824100-1340870553_thumb.j

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The Waldo Canyon Fire was discovered on June 23, 2012, burning in Pike National Forest near Colorado Springs, Colorado. By June 27, it had burned 15,517 acres (6,280 hectares), was 5 percent contained, and had forced at least 32,000 people to evacuate their homes.

The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image of the fire on June 26, 2012. Thick smoke, partially obscured by clouds, is visible blowing toward the northeast. The red outlines indicate hotspots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires. (Credit: NASA's MODIS Rapid Response Team)

663317main2_Boulder.2012178.jpg

This photo was taken from Garden of the Gods, looking North towards Glen Eyrie, Colorado and the ridges just west of Colorado Springs. There are neighborhoods on the east slopes of the ridge climbing up pretty high, which are the homes that were in the path of the fire yesterday, June 27, 2012. (Credit: Don Savage Photography, used with permission)

663319main_Waldo-1.jpg

This photo was shot from Garden of the Gods looking north towards Queen's Canyon, where yesterday, June 26, 2012, the fire crested the ridge and moved down into Colorado Springs. (Credit: Don Savage Photography, used with permission)

663321main_Waldo-3.jpg

The Waldo Canyon fire crested the ridge and is working its way down to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, where a few hours later many houses burned on June 26, 2012. (Credit: Don Savage Photography, used with permission)

663322main_Waldo-4.jpg

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The Waldo Canyon Fire was discovered on June 23, 2012, burning in Pike National Forest near Colorado Springs, Colorado. By June 27, it had burned 15,517 acres (6,280 hectares), was 5 percent contained, and had forced at least 32,000 people to evacuate their homes.

The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image of the fire on June 26, 2012. Thick smoke, partially obscured by clouds, is visible blowing toward the northeast. The red outlines indicate hotspots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires. (Credit: NASA's MODIS Rapid Response Team)

663317main2_Boulder.2012178.jpg

This photo was taken from Garden of the Gods, looking North towards Glen Eyrie, Colorado and the ridges just west of Colorado Springs. There are neighborhoods on the east slopes of the ridge climbing up pretty high, which are the homes that were in the path of the fire yesterday, June 27, 2012. (Credit: Don Savage Photography, used with permission)

663319main_Waldo-1.jpg

This photo was shot from Garden of the Gods looking north towards Queen's Canyon, where yesterday, June 26, 2012, the fire crested the ridge and moved down into Colorado Springs. (Credit: Don Savage Photography, used with permission)

663321main_Waldo-3.jpg

The Waldo Canyon fire crested the ridge and is working its way down to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, where a few hours later many houses burned on June 26, 2012. (Credit: Don Savage Photography, used with permission)

663322main_Waldo-4.jpg

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