"To date in 2012, more than 173,000 acres have already burned in Colorado, destroying more than 600 homes and taken six lives, 7News reports. Now with 4th of July approaching, the heat combined with relative low humidity and unseasonable dryness has firefighters saying that fireworks are "not worth the risk" this year during the worst wildfire season in a decade."
"After several years of relatively benign fire seasons, the West is headed into a hot, dry summer of potentially ferocious blazes like the ones that have scorched Colorado in recent weeks."
"Residents began returning to charred areas of Colorado Springs on Sunday after the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and left the landscape a blackened wasteland."
"Bears and burglars posed further danger to home owners who headed back to towns and cities after the fire, which killed two people.
The so-called Waldo Canyon Fire has scorched 17,659 acres, burned 346 homes and devastated communities around Colorado Springs, the state's second-largest city, since it began eight days ago.
"This last week, record temperatures and wildfires have scorched the western United States. The National Climate Data Center reports that 41 heat records (at various of 6,027 weather stations around the country) have been broken or tied since Sunday, mostly in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska, which is quite unusual for this time of year."
"COLORADO SPRINGS -- Firefighters struggled on Wednesday to beat back a fiercely aggressive wildfire raging at the edge of Colorado Springs that has forced at least 35,000 people from their homes and was nipping at the edges of the U.S. Air Force Academy."
"Thousands flee homes as western wildfires persist. Colorado's Governor Gary Herbert estimates the fire has caused millions of dollars worth of damage. Soot and smoke also worry residents."
"GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The timber industry is hoping that the U.S. Supreme Court will maintain business as usual on controlling muddy water running off logging roads into salmon streams."
"MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -- Searing, record-setting heat in the interior West didn't loosen its grip on firefighters struggling to contain blazes in Colorado, Utah and other Rocky Mountain states. Colorado has endured nearly a week of 100-plus degree days and low humidity, sapping moisture from timber and grass, creating a devastating formula for volatile wildfires across the state and punishing conditions for firefighters."
"CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Forest Service officials insist firefighting won't be hindered by new rules meant to prevent millions of gallons of retardant dropped onto scorched landscapes each year from poisoning streams and killing fish and plants."
"LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. -- Monday's predicted convergence of high temperatures and gusty winds failed to materialize at the High Park fire — but the day brought news of more destruction as authorities confirmed that another eight homes had been claimed by the flames. That disclosure pushed to 189 the total of residences destroyed in the second-largest wildfire in Colorado history."