With high winds and record-breaking heat throughout the state, firefighters and government authorities in Colorado have a tough job ahead of them. More than half a dozen fires are currently burning in the mountainous state, but it’s the Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs that is currently the most concerning, due to its extreme conditions and proximity to heavily populated neighborhoods. Officials reported Thursday that the fire has already burned more than 18,500 acres at only 5% containment, according to the Denver Post. At least 300 homes have been destroyed.
In the above video, a Colorado Springs resident focuses on the flames peaking out from over the foothills, with the smoke enveloping the entire sky. A note from the YouTube user who uploaded it, smham33, says that his immediate neighborhood appears to be safe for now.
This time-lapse video, captured by Nicholas B. Lee of Colorado Springs, shows the immense growth of the fire over a 12-hour span. The smoke has cloaked and endangered both the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, two of the area’s biggest recreational attractions.
The above video was filmed 10 miles outside of Colorado Springs by Michelle Jones. She noted, “The smoke is becoming thick in the city and we have ash falling outside. As these winds pick up it makes the air dense with the smell of smoke.”
A vast cloud of billowing smoke took to the sky on Tuesday between 4 and 6 pm, when the fire jumped the forest line and began to swallow homes and other structures in nearby neighborhoods. The evacuation area has now stretched north of the Air Force Academy and further west of the city, including the areas of Woodland Park and Crystola.
While the damage from the Waldo Canyon blaze and other fires across the state will be devastating, the good news is that evacuations have gone smoothly, and no injuries or deaths have been reported. To donate or assist the thousands of firefighters who are on the scene, visit HelpColoradoNow.org.