Saturday, June 30, 2012
As firefighters worked to gain the upper hand Saturday on a massive wildfire outside Colorado Springs that forced thousands to flee, the toll mounted: Nearly 350 homes destroyed, two dozen more damaged and two people dead.
Officials warned the numbers are likely to increase as authorities get their first look at some of the harder hit areas, even as firefighters worked to contain the wildfire that continued to pose a threat to more than 20,000 homes and 160 businesses.
The so-called Waldo Canyon Fire has scorched more than 17,000 acres — close to 27 square miles — and brought fear, anxiety and grief to Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city that was, until a few days ago, happily situated in the valley below picturesque Pikes Peak.
It was 25% contained by early Saturday morning, according to InciWeb, a multi-agency fire response website.