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An explosive wildfire has forced the evacuation of nearly 32,000 residents in and near Colorado Springs, Co., as the inferno jumped containment lines and entered the northwest part of the city on Tuesday.
As the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, over 800 firefighters are currently battling the blaze in shifts. Before accounting for the fire's latest expansion, it was covering 6,500 acres with five percent containment. The fire doubled in size overnight, according to the Associated Press. Officials still aren't sure how many homes were destroyed.
The same fire is also threatening the U.S. Air Force Academy, prompting further evacuations.
To make matters worse, firefighters have been working in record heat, CNN notes: On Tuesday, the high in Colorado Springs was 101. The week's forecast doesn't look much better, with highs staying in the 90's, coupled with low humidity and no rain in sight. Those conditions have been affecting most of Colorado, where there are currently six other fires burning, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
"It is like a convection oven out there," Anne Rys-Sikora, a spokesperson for the multi-agency fire response team, told CNN. Most or all of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana are under a red flag warning for fire danger.
It looks like things will get worse before they get better in Colorado: A new fire near Boulder (just outside of Denver) has prompted 2,300 evacuation notices. And the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins has burned 87,284 acres and is 65 percent contained.