MORE THAN 11,000 residents were forced to leave their homes in one town in Colorado at the weekend as a two-week old wildfire rages on.
Two hundred and forty eight homes have been destroyed by the fire which has scorched more than 130 square miles. Fire officials said yesterday that it was just 45 per cent contained.
A total of eight fires are now burning across the state. One of the newest fires, a blaze near Colorado Springs had grown to more than three square miles after breaking out on Saturday prompting evacuation orders for 11,000 residents.
“It looked like hell was opening up”
“We’re used to flooding and tornadoes, nothing like this”, said Amanda Rice, who recently moved to the area from Illinois. Rice, her husband, four children and dog left a Manitou Springs hotel late on Saturday.
Rice, scared when she saw flames, took her family to the evacuation center before she was told to go.
“It was just this God-awful orange glow. It was surreal. It honestly looked like hell was opening up”, Rice said.
Residents are being urged to bring important financial and medical documents with them when they leave their homes. A number of shelters for pets are now full, with volunteers being asked to take animals into their homes, reports the Colorado Springs Gazette.