Thursday, June 13, 2013

Colorado wildfire destroys 360 homes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - The wildfire burning on the northeastern outskirts of Colorado Springs has destroyed 360 homes and forced the evacuation of 38,000 people, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa told reporters on Thursday.

The so-called Black Forest Fire, named for the community where it began on Tuesday, has also partially damaged another 14 homes, Maketa said. The status of an additional 79 locations could not be verified, he said.

"We did see a lot of losses especially with the winds. And if the winds kick up like they did yesterday, that's my greatest concern," Maketa said.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Wednesday signed executive orders declaring "disaster emergencies" that set aside more than $10 million for costs related to the Black Forest Fire and two other blazes in the state.

One person is unaccounted for but there have been no reported injuries or fatalities in the blaze, which covers about 15,000 acres, Maketa said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)


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