Wildfires force evacuations in US west

Wildfires have forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 homes in the western US state of Colorado, authorities said.

The latest blaze broke out Saturday in Waldo Canyon national park, west of Colorado Springs, spreading out over 3,600 acres (1,500 hectares), according to officials.

Six helicopters and 400 firefighters have so far been dispatched to combat the flames, which were being fanned by dry conditions and soaring temperatures. Officials said the blaze was still raging out of control.

The sheriff's office in Colorado's El Paso County said no one had been reported injured in the fire.

Authorities said 1,050 homes were evacuated in areas around Waldo Canyon, including Cascade, Chipita Park, Manitou Springs and Green Mountain Falls.

Press reports indicated that some 11,000 people were admitted to shelters.

"Our folks want to make sure everyone stays safe," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told CBS television.

Six other fires were reported in Colorado, the biggest being the High Park Fire northwest of Fort Collins, which has consumed more than 83,000 acres with 45 percent containment, according to authorities.

In Little Sand, a fire had consumed 22,000 acres as of Sunday but was partially contained, the state's emergency management agency said.


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