Tuesday 17 October 2017

Thousands flee Colorado wildfires

Thousands of residents have been evacuated and dozens of homes destroyed by three Colorado wildfires fuelled by hot temperatures, gusty winds and thick, bone-dry forests.

Nearly 1,000 inmates at a medium-security prison were also evacuated.

Sheriff's officials tallied 92 homes destroyed by a fire north-east of Colorado Springs, with five more homes partially damaged.

Wildfires also were burning in New Mexico, Oregon and California, where a smokejumper was killed fighting one of dozens of lightning-sparked fires.

Crews were so busy battling wildfires across the west that the US Forest Service announced it was mobilising two Defence Department cargo planes to drop slurry on the blazes.

Such action cannot be taken unless all of the Forest Service's contracted tankers are already in use.

A DC-10 Air Tanker drops fire retardant as a frest fire burns out of control near Colorado Springs (AP)
A DC-10 Air Tanker drops fire retardant as a frest fire burns out of control near Colorado Springs (AP)
Firefighters burn off natural ground fuel in an evacuated neighbourhood, as the wildfires rage (AP)
Dave and Linda Burgess watch as a plume fo smoke rises near their home near Colorado Springs (AP)
Fire erupts behind a home as the Black Forest Fire burns out of control (AP)

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