A Waldo Canyon, Colorado fire has ravaged 257 homes, killing one woman and more than 32,000 people have been ordered to evacuate as the fast-moving wildfire spreads into the Colorado Springs city limits.
According to El Paso County sheriff's spokeswoman Jackie Kirby, at least six subdivisions are included in the evacuation orders, along with residents of the Air Force Academy.
The Waldo Canyon fire started June 23 west of the city and now covers more than 10 square miles.
To the north in Boulder County, officials evacuated 26 households when a wildfire erupted Tuesday afternoon. In northern Colorado, the 136-square-mile High Park Fire has destroyed over 250 homes and killed one woman.
Heavy smoke and ash billowed from the mountain foothills west of the city. Bright yellow and orange flames flared in the night, often signaling another home lost to the Waldo Canyon Fire, the No. 1 priority for the nation's firefighters.
Interstate 25, which runs through Colorado Springs, was briefly closed to southbound traffic Tuesday. All told, officials said, evacuation orders affected as many as 32,000 residents.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said:
"It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine…It's almost surreal. You look at that, and it's like nothing I've seen before."
With flames cresting a ridge high above its breathtaking, 28-square-mile campus, the Air Force Academy told more than 2,100 residents to evacuate 600 households. There was no immediate word on whether a new class of 1,045 cadets would report as scheduled on Thursday.
Hickenlooper insisted Colorado was open to tourism, saying Colorado's fires had affected just about a half-percent of all of the state's public lands and perhaps 400 of its 10,000 campground sites.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Waldo Canyon community.