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Author Topic: Thousands Flee as Colorado Wildfire continues  (Read 7808 times)

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Offline lindaikeji

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Thousands Flee as Colorado Wildfire continues
« on: June 15, 2018, 02:21:39 PM »
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The threat of hot, windy weather and thunderstorms Thursday posed more problems for firefighters battling a Colorado wildfire that has forced residents of more than 1,000 homes to evacuate and led to warnings for others to get ready to leave.

The fire 13 miles (43 kilometers) north of Durango is in the Four Corners Region where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah meet, the epicenter of a large U.S. Southwest swath of exceptional drought, the worst category of drought.

Moderate to extreme drought conditions affect larger areas of those four states plus parts of Nevada, California, Oregon, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. This week, authorities in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico closed recreational areas and enacted fire restrictions because of the high fire danger.
Nearly 2,000 fighting fires

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, reported there were 1,746 people responding to fight six active wildfires in the region. Firefighting costs have reached $12 million since June 1 for the Durango-area wildfire alone, according to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center in suburban Denver.

In southwest Colorado, officials told residents of nearly 350 homes to be prepared to leave if dry thunderstorms, high heat and gusty winds spread a wildfire that has blackened more than 50 square miles (130 square kilometers) and is seen as extremely dangerous for firefighters.

“With the storms comes the lighting and those gusty winds. We’re definitely asking the firefighters to keep their eyes open and their heads up and pay attention to any changes in the weather,” fire team spokesman Jamie Knight told The Durango Herald.

About 1,900 homes have been evacuated since the fire began June 1, though 560 homes were declared safe late Wednesday, allowing some residents to return.

“We were just happy to get back. We were tired of living out of suitcases. You can imagine four people and two large Labs in small hotel rooms,” Joe Hardman told the Herald after going home with his wife, two daughters and two Labrador retrievers.



 

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