Record heat and high winds have driven multiple wildfires to rage across Colorado.
The Black Forest Fire burning on 8,000 acres in El Paso County, Colo. as of Wednesday morning has burned as many as 100 homes, KDVR reports, but an official number has not yet been released from authorities. "That fire is far from under control," El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa told the Gazette. Although no fatalities or injuries have been officially reported, Maketa says he fears the worst citing some residents who refused to leave. 2,625 people and 7,358 homes have been evacuated from the area.
A fire burning near the Royal Gorge, southwest of Colorado Springs, forced the evacuation of more than 900 prisoners on Tuesday night. The fire erupted on Tuesday afternoon and quickly grew to more than 3,800 acres. After spreading along the south side of the Arkansas River, the fire jumped the gorge to the north side on Tuesday afternoon. About 1,400 visitors, 200 staffers and around 100 structures were evacuated on Tuesday. As of Wednesday morning crews have zero containment.
The Big Meadows Fire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park grew to 500 acres on Wednesday due to the high winds, heat, low relative humidity and large amount of beetle killed trees. Officials say lightning started the fire on Monday afternoon and it exploded in size on Tuesday afternoon. No structures or communities are at risk, The Denver Post reports.
The La Vita Fire burning in Huerfano County is on 60 acres and 40 percent contained as of Wednesday morning. No structures have been damaged and two families have been evacuated, according to 9News.
Photos of the devastation from the 2013 Colorado wildfires: