Colorado wildfire jumps U.S. Continental Divide, threatens mountain towns
An explosive Colorado wildfire that has already forced the evacuation of several mountain communities and the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park blackened another 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) yesterday (22) as it jumped the U.S. Continental Divide.
The East Troublesome Fire, which broke out on 14 October has now burned 170,000 acres (68,800 hectares) and was only about 5% contained as of Thursday afternoon, incident commander Noel Livingston said at a news briefing.
The flames have spread into Rocky Mountain National Park, prompted the National Park Service to close the entire 415 square-mile (668-square-km) expanse and the blaze has become the second-largest on record in Colorado.
The closure of the national park is in addition to more than one million acres of wilderness in Colorado that the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and state authorities have deemed off limits to the public.