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Wildfires hit Colorado Springs

26 June 2012 09:57

Land near Colorado Springs has been hit by wildfires

Land near Colorado Springs has been hit by wildfires

Wildfires sweeping across Colorado have hit nearly two-dozen homes near the Rocky Mountain National Park.

More than 11,000 local residents and tourists were evacuated as the blaze, near Colorado Springs, erupted and grew out of control to more than three square miles.

The inferno has destroyed 21 buildings near the mountain village of Estes Park, which has also proven to be a popular tourist destination in the past.

Many tourists will be checking their travel insurance policies after the wildfire raged close to hotels and camp sites, as around half the nation's firemen flocked to the state to fight fires.

Colorado governor John Hickenlooper said military support was being drafted in, as several C-130 military transport planes from Peterson Air Force Base prepared to assist with the rescue mission.

Eight wildfires are now scorching through Colorado, including one that has singed more than 118 square miles and burned nearly 200 homes to the ground near Fort Collins.

Mr Hickenlooper said that "people recognise this is going to take a big push" to extinguish the fires, as the drought-stricken state battles its worst wildfire season in over a decade.