Evacuees waited in traffic jams under dark midday skies as a fast-growing blaze threatened towns near Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, leaving surroundings bathed in unsettling shades of orange and red.
The fire, called East Troublesome, grew five times in size in a day to more than 170,000 acres on Thursday, making it the second-largest wildfire in state history. Meanwhile, the state’s largest-ever fire, the Cameron Peak Fire, continues to burn, growing to more than 206,000 acres to the northeast. Officials fear the two blazes could combine as windy conditions continue to whip the flames.
Ernie Bjorkman, a Grand Lake town councilman, told Colorado Public Radio he evacuated in a hurry on Wednesday evening.
Mandatory evacuation orders now in place for areas of Estes Park, including downtown. That means me, now in a major traffic jam with all the other folks trying to get out of town. pic.twitter.com/C7Gw0vLlBm
— Michael Elizabeth Sakas (@_msakas) October 22, 2020
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