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Colorado's massive wildfire spreads - disrupting tourist areas and prompting further evacuations


Crews in Colorado are working to contain the fast moving wildfires.
Crews in Colorado are working to contain the fast moving wildfires.

Staff writers

June 25, 2012 — Colorado is in the midst of the worst wildfire season in a decade. Hot, dry, and windy conditions are hindering containment efforts.

All campfires and private fireworks in Colorado are banned until further notice
All campfires and private fireworks in Colorado are banned until further notice

More than half a dozen fires are burning across the parched terrain. The flames forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and disrupted vacation plans for countless visitors over the weekend.  Some hotels and campgrounds are emptying ahead of the busy Fourth of July holiday. 

One of the newest fire, a blaze near Colorado Springs, grew to more than 6 square miles in one day forcing the evacuation of 11,000 residents and an unknown number of tourists. 

The High Park Fire is the second-largest wildfire and among the most expensive in the states history. It has scorhed more than 340 square kilometres, and is just 45% contained. 

Although other large fires burn across the West, Colorado's blazes have demanded half the nations firefighting fleet. An additional C-130 military transport will also begin assisting Monday. 

A statewide ban on open campfires and private fireworks has been in place for more than one week.

With files from The Associated Press

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