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Colorado Wildfires Forcing Widespread Evacuations

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 6/12/2013 A rapidly growing fire is threatening homes in Colorado. Authorities have moved nearly 4,000 people out of the houses as it continues to burn. Andrew Spencer tells us what they're up against as they fight the fire. Roaring flames, and high winds. That's what firefighters are battling as they struggle to contain the Black Forest fire. So far, no fatalities have been reported, butauthorities say some homes have burned. "Right now our mandatory evacuation area is about 24,000 acres. Right now we are estimating the fire to have consumed somewhere between 7,500 and 8,000 acres," says El PasoCounty Sheriff Terry Maketa. Firefighters arealso having a hard time fighting this firebecause it's one of five burning in the state. The Royal Gorge firehas also claimed thousands of acres and has gotten close to a popular park, full of campers. "It was almost to the gorge by the time we left. They were evacuating people down from there trails of people coming the hill," said one camper. The area threatened by these fires is rural, heavily wooded and filled with dry timber. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is warning homeowners to get ready. "People have to be prepared; they have to make sure that their homes if you're in a wild line fire area to make sure your homes are defensible," says Gov. Hickenlooper. The cause of both the Royal Gorge and the Black Forest fire are currently under investigation, authorities say. Park officials say one of the other two smaller fires was caused by lightning in the Rock Mountain National Park.
   
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