Officials said that approximately 346 homes were destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire making it the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history -- and newly released aerial photos reveal the extent of the horrible destruction in the region.
These aerial photos in the slideshow below, taken on Thursday, June 28, show the destructive path of the Waldo Canyon fire in the Mountain Shadows subdivision area of Colorado Springs.
The Waldo Canyon fire burning near Colorado Springs began burning on Saturday, June 23 and by Sunday -- fueled by record heat, high winds and dryness -- it grew rapidly and forced the evacuation of 11,000 residents. After several days of Red Flag Warnings, conditions were ripe for further growth, and by Tuesday, June 26, Waldo Canyon Fire exploded.
The aggressively burning fire forced the evacuation of at least 32,000 residents, expanded to 15,517 acres, quickly engulfed what is believed to be hundreds of homes in the area, and now continues to rage on Thursday with only 5 percent containment as thousands of evacuees wait in shelters.
Days of record heat produced a surge of new fires burning throughout Colorado and also provided fuel and devastating growth conditions for the fires already burning. A total of ten major fires were burning around the state last weekend, all part of the worst wildfire season in a decade.
Photos of the Waldo Canyon fire destruction: