9NEWS reports, politics is on hold for thousands of our neighbors today:
The Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs has forced more than 32,000 people out of their homes and destroyed structures on Tuesday. On Wednesday, crews hope to protect Highway 24 and prevent the fire from moving northeast and east…
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen a wildfire like this in the history of Colorado,” [Governor John] Hickenlooper saidafter flying over the 9-square-mile fire late Tuesday.
Hickenlooper also issued the following statement earlier Tuesday night: “An unprecedented weather pattern of hot days and dry conditions has made our fire season among the worst ever. Federal, state and local authorities are working together to address the situation and we are doing everything we can to protect lives and property. If there was an executive order for rain, we’d sign it immediately, but what we can do now is provide support and resources to communities that are most at risk.”
Tuesday night, Incident Commander Rich Harvey said the Waldo Canyon Fire is a “firestorm of epic proportions.”
The Waldo Canyon Fire quickly became the greatest concern after being pushed into populated areas yesterday afternoon, but new fires are cropping up all over the state, including one near Boulder that has put thousands of residents there on pre-evacuation notice. In terms of widespread threats to major population centers, it’s hard to remember the last time so many in Colorado were threatened by natural disaster–a few flood events come to mind. The thoughts and prayers of all of us are with those who have been affected.
For those interested in helping, the state emergency management department has teamed with nonprofits to set up this clearinghouse page of donation links and information.