Wildfire in Colorado threatens popular tourist spot

Los Angeles, Aug 15 (IANS) A wildfire in the US state of Colorado doubled its size and is threatening a popular hiking spot, the local authorities said, adding the fate of the tourist attraction is unclear.

The blaze, dubbed Grizzly Creek Fire, was first reported Monday afternoon and made a major run late Thursday night, growing to 13,441 acres (54.4 square kilometers), according to the InciWeb, an interstate incident information system, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis visited the Incident Command Center for the Grizzly Creek Fire Friday morning where he said getting the aggressive fire under control was the top national priority.

“I was actually just informed that the Grizzly Creek Fire is the top fire priority in the nation right now, ” said Polis at an online press conference. “So resources are coming from around the country.”

What the local officials worried most is Hanging Lake, a National Natural Landmark in the United States and a popular tourist destination with over 180,000 visitors in 2018.

“Right now we don't know the disposition of Hanging Lake,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor for the White River National Forest at the Friday's press conference. “We know there was fire around it. We hope to get up and take a look at it today and as soon as we know we'll let folks know.”

Moreover, the fire cut Interstate 70. Governor Polis predicted the highway could be reopened after two or three days in the “best realistic scenario.”

In addition to this blaze, the Pine Gulch Fire in the state sparked by lightning on July 31 continued to grow and is now of the largest wildfires in Colorado history.

As of Friday morning, the Pine Gulch Fire torched 73,381 acres (296.9 square kilometers) with only 7 per cent containment.



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