Colorado Wildfires 2013 Maps, Latest Updates: Black Forest Fire, Royal Gorge Fire Force Mass Evacuations (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Colorado wildfires are wreaking havoc across the region on Wednesday with four separate blazes forcing authorities to evacuate dozens of areas across the state.
Numerous homes and buildings have already been burned down, and 900 inmates at a state penitentiary have been included in the evacuation efforts, according to reports.
One of the blazes – the Black Forest fire – has hit the wooded area northeast if the Colorado Springs. That fire broke out on Tuesday, and so far is thought to have devastated around 50 homes. Another 2,300 residences and more than 6,000 people have been evacuated from the path of the fire, according to USA Today.
Authorities still have been unable to get any handle on the blaze, which is spreading rapidly and is still 0 percent contained.
The Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility was evacuated of its 900 inmates after heavy smoke billowed into the area, although the fire has not breached the areas near there yet. The inmates are being moved to various other facilities in the area, but the challenge to move them has been a big one for authorities in the region.
The Royal Gorge fire has also been blazing, eating up 3,800 acres so far, according to reports. The blaze has destroyed much land south of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Arkansas River, burning down three structures near Canon City.
That fire has forced authorities to close and evacuate the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, and the Arkansas River from Spike Buck through Canon City have been closed.
Royal Gorge Information Officer Gregg Goodland has told reporters, "The last I heard the Royal Gorge Bridge is not on fire, but yes it is in danger."
In addition, the Klikus-La Veta fire has blazed through 50 acres, and forced the evacuation of about 200 residents in Huerfano County.
A fourth fire in Aurora destroyed five homes, but was reported to have been contained by Tuesday night.
Colorado Senator Michael Bennett said in a statement on Tuesday, "Our thoughts are with those who have lost their homes and property in these fires. Unfortunately, Coloradans are all too familiar with how quickly wildfires burn and the dangers they pose. We have been in touch with local authorities on the ground and are monitoring the situation closely to ensure our firefighters and first responders will have all the federal resources they need to combat these fires."
Here is a video of the Royal Gorge wildfire 2013: