Waldo Canyon Fires, Colorado

With the worst wildfire in Colorado history more than half-contained, evacuation orders for most of the 35,000 people displaced by the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs were lifted late Sunday, and residents were allowed to return to their homes—or what’s left of them.

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“To find my mail in my mailbox, unscathed—it’s just unreal,” C.J. Moore, whose home was “reduced to ashes,” told The Associated Press. “Bird baths are fine. Some of the foliage is fine.”

The 17,659-acre, 28-square-mile blaze burned at least 346 homes, killed two people and devastated neighborhoods in Colorado Springs.

These people will return to the shelters set up by the American Red Cross, as even thinking about rebuilding in the face of such loss will take months. 200 Hugs Across America teddies await their return and are already in the arms of those who could not get to their residences. For the children such loss is not comprehendible, and a hug from folks who care sure helps

This fire has been referred to as a “super fire” because of the area’s extremely dry conditions, which coupled with high-speed winds — up to 60 mph — cause the flames to hurtle from treetop to treetop and burn so hot that firefighters can’t get close.

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