Western Wildfires Prompt Evacuations, State of EmergencyPlay
A fire of "epic proportions" that has prompted the evacuations of 32,000 residents of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was only 5 percent contained this morning.
Additional firefighters are being brought in today to fight the Waldo Canyon fire but there's concern that thunderstorms expected this afternoon may spark more fires.
Two other major fires are also burning in Colorado, which along with Utah, Wyoming and Montana, is experiencing a severe drought. Montana has issued a state of emergency after a wildfire north of Helena destroyed four homes and prompted additional evacuations.
And the first major wildfire of the season in western Wyoming is growing near the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Kirk Siegler, reporter for NPR member station KUNC in Denver, Colorado told Here & Now's Deb Becker that fires of this magnitude haven't been seen in Colorado in ten years, and 100 years of federal fire suppression efforts are in part to blame.
- Kirk Siegler, reporter for NPR member station KUNC in Denver, Colorado
This segment aired on June 27, 2012.