Colo. Fire Forces Evacuation of 900 Prisoners
4 blazes have destroyed dozens of homes
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 10:09 AM CDT
Lynd Fitzgerald sprays fire retardant around a house while a fire burns out of control in the background in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Tuesday afternoon, June 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Christian Murdock)

(Newser) – Wildfires are raging in Colorado, and one of them caused more than 900 prisoners to be evacuated from a state prison early today. The medium- and low-risk prisoners were taken by bus to other prisons, a spokesperson tells the AP. The fire hasn't actually reached the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility, but "this was done as a precaution because it takes a lot of time to move the prisoners," she explains.

But dozens of homes have been destroyed, according to the AP, which puts the number of blazes in the Front Range area at four. The Black Forest Fire is burning in a residential area, and has burned as many as 60 homes since starting yesterday; 6,400 have been forced to evacuate, but no injuries have been reported. (The AP earlier reported that the area has large homes sitting on two to five acres each, some of them worth more than $1 million.) Record temperatures and strong winds were driving the fires quickly, and NBC News reports that fire departments are stretched thin.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Jun 12, 2013 7:17 PM CDT
As city spread into the wilds more and more of these disasters are lying in wait. It's an unfortunate result of sprawl.
Jun 12, 2013 2:59 PM CDT
We get an article on 900 prisoners being evacuated, but nothing mentioned of the nearly 4000 people who live near these three fires. Great reporting.... Black Forest fire is being fought with everything available. Planes dropping slurry, helicopters dropping water, and firefighters on the ground. Black Forest is a spread out residential neighborhood. They have increased the evac zones several times in the last 24 hours. Still 0% contained.
Jun 12, 2013 11:21 AM CDT
if they're low risk prisoners, perhaps they should be out fighting the forest fires