Dozens of homes have been destroyed by a wildfire threatening Colorado Springs

12:48 PM, Jun 27, 2012   |    comments
Firefighters battled the Texas blazes (AP)
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Officials say dozens of homes have been destroyed by a wildfire threatening Colorado Springs, but the heat and flames remain too intense for authorities to fully assess the damage to the state's second-largest city.

Steve Cox, an aide to Mayor Steve Bach, offered the first estimate on the number of lost homes on Wednesday.

The towering blaze has forced mandatory evacuations for more than 32,000 residents, including about 2,100 people from the U.S. Air Force Academy just north of Colorado Springs.

Fire information officer Rob Dyerberg says the blaze doubled in size overnight to about 24 square miles.

Heavy smoke and ash billowed from the foothills west of the city of 419,000.

Bright yellow and orange flames flared in the night, often a signal that another home has been lost.

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