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June 27, 2012
Dozens of homes destroyed in Colorado blaze

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- Officials say dozens of homes have been destroyed by a wildfire threatening Colorado Springs, but the heat and flames remain too intense for authorities to fully assess the damage to the state's second-largest city.

Steve Cox, an aide to Mayor Steve Bach, offered the first estimate on the number of lost homes on Wednesday.

The towering blaze has forced mandatory evacuations for more than 32,000 residents, including about 2,100 people from the U.S. Air Force Academy just north of Colorado Springs.

Fire information officer Rob Dyerberg says the blaze doubled in size overnight to about 24 square miles.

Heavy smoke and ash billowed from the foothills west of the city of 419,000.

Bright yellow and orange flames flared in the night, often a signal that another home has been lost.

(31 images)




Homes are destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in the Mountain Shadows area of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. A stubborn and towering wildfire jumped firefighters' perimeter lines in the hills overlooking Colorado Springs, forcing frantic mandatory evacuation notices for more than 9,000 residents. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Jerilee Bennett
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Houses in the Mountain Shadows area of Colorado Springs, Colorado ignite due to the Waldo Canyon fire on Wednesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Jerilee Bennett
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The Waldo Canyon fire burns an entire neighborhood in near the foothills of Colorado Springs, Colo. Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Denver Post / Helen H. Richardson
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People watch the front range burn from I-25 looking west, as tthe Waldo Canyon Fire burns across the western side Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Bryan Oller
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The Waldo Canyon fire invades the Mountain Shadows area of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Jerilee Bennett
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A helicopter tries to put out fire on the Waldo Canyon wildfire as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Galon Wampler
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Fire from the Waldo Canyon wildfire as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Galon Wampler
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Fire from the Waldo Canyon wildfire burns as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Galon Wampler
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The Waldo Canyon Fire begins to burn homes north of Garden of the Gods Road in northwest Colorado Springs, Colo., on the fourth day of the blaze Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Christian murdock
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A firestorm of smoke and ash from the Waldo Canyon fire heads down the mountain towards Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colorado Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Jerilee Bennett
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A view of the Flagstaff fire west of Boulder, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Boulder Daily Camera / Mark Leffingwell
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Smoke and fire from the Waldo Canyon fire invades Mountain Shadows area of Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Jerilee Bennett
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The Waldo Canyon Fire begins to burn homes in the Rock Rimmon area of northwest Colorado Springs, Colo., on the fourth day of the blaze Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Christian murdock
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The Waldo Canyon Fire burns on the north ridge above U.S. Highway 24 near Green Mountain Falls, Colo., Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Christian Murdock
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Towering columns of smoke cross U.S. 89 Tuesday, June 26, 2012, after gusting winds whipped up a wildfiire that authorities were hoping they would gain control of Tuesday. AP / Lynn DeBruin
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The skies are orange as flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire race through a neighborhood in west Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 leaving a trail of destruction, burning homes and buildings in its path. AP / Bryan Oller
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People flee the Waldo Canyon Fire with little time to spare as the fire burns through neighborhoods west of Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Bryan Oller
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Firefighters get ready to head into neighborhoods which were caught by the Waldo Canyon Fire after it swept down into western portions of Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Bryan Oller
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Smoke from the Waldo Canyon Fire rises over Mountain Shadows as Angela Morgan, left, and Jan Stone embrace Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Morgan was evacuated from her Mountain Shadows home over the weekend and Stone helped her retrieve some of her belongings after she was let back into her neighborhood Tuesday. Stone herself was evacuated from her Green Mountain Falls home Sunday. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Mark Reis
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Susan Fox and her daughter Kaylehana, 4, watch the Waldo Canyon Fire burn near Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, June 25, 2012. The fire, one of at least a half-dozen wildfires in Colorado as of Monday, has blackened 5.3 square miles and displaced about 6,000 people since it started Saturday. AP / Bryan Oller
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A man stops quickly to get some video before running away from approaching flames of the Waldo Canyon Fire as it raced down into western portions of Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 leaving a trail of destruction and burning homes and buildings in it's path. AP / Bryan Oller
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A slurry bomber drops retardant on the Waldo Canyon Fire on a ridge above Queen's Canyon in Colorado Springs, Colo. Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Mark Reis
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A heavy tanker drops fire retardant while fighting the Flagstaff wildfire on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in Boulder, Colo. Boulder Daily Camera / Jeremy Papasso
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A heavy tanker drops fire retardant while fighting the Flagstaff wildfire on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder Daily Camera / Jeremy Papasso
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A tanker drops fire retardant while fighting the Flagstaff wildfire on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in Boulder Colorado. AP / Jeremy Papasso
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Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire move quickly move through the western side Colorado Springs, Colo. causing several structures and homes to burn on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Bryan Oller
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A helicopter tries to put out fire on the Waldo Canyon wildfire as it moved into subdivisions and destroyed homes in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Galon Wampler
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The Waldo Canyon fire invades the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo. Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Jerilee Bennett
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Flames of the Waldo Canyon Fire races down into western portions of Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Bryan Oller
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Flames of the Waldo Canyon Fire races down into western portions of Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. AP / Bryan Oller
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Firefighters stir from their tents at a firefighter camp at Holmes Middle School early Tuesday morning, June 26, 2012, to begin work on the fourth day of the Waldo Canyon Fire burning west of Colorado Springs, Colo. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Mark Reis

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