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US wildfires - live: Evacuations ordered in Colorado Springs as homes destroyed in California

Wildfires are raging across the western US as this year’s fire season gets off to an early start

Graig Graziosi,Ethan Freedman
Thursday 12 May 2022 22:13
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California’s Orange County Hit by Coastal Wildfire

A wildfire near Laguna Beach, California, has already destroyed 20 homes and will likely continue to ravage the region throughout the day.

The blaze — called the Coastal Fire — raged through the early morning hours on Thursday, during which time fire crews were dispatched to attempt to stop its advance.

Despite their efforts, by Thursday morning a score of homes — including five multi-million dollar mansions, one of which was listed for $10m — were left in smoldering ruins as the blaze continued to grow to around 200 acres.

The wildfire is the fueled in-part the ongoing drought conditions affecting much of the western and southwestern US. The lack of rain causes regional flora to dry out, which then creates ideal conditions to fuel wildfires.

Fires contineus to burn in New Mexico, including the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire, which has spread to over 400 square miles and forced further evacuations as it spreads north. The Cerro Pelado fire, north of Albuquerque, has now put the Los Alamos National Laboratory on evacuation alert.

In Colorado Springs, officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation order for a community surrounding a grass fire that started today.

Fire crews believe the California blaze started in the Aliso Woods Canyon, which abuts one of the Laguna neighborhoods. Mandatory evacuation orders have been enacted for parts of Laguna Niguel.

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Southern California fire rips through multimillion-dollar mansions
Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 22:13
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The Los Alamos National Laboratory said this week that “radiological and other potentially hazardous materials are stored in containers that are engineered and tested to withstand extreme environments, including heat from fire.”

The lab, where some of the research on the atomic bomb took place during World World II, is currently under a preliminary evacuation warning. The lab has said that this is a “precautionary measure only.”

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 21:34
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In New Mexico, fire crews seem to have controlled the perimeter along the southeast flank of the fire, including around the city of Las Vegas, population 13,000

Winds have continued to push the fire north and northeast over the past

A map of the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in New Mexico as of May 12, 2022

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 21:28
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Footage from the Colorado Springs Fire Department shows a burnt out area from a grass fire today

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 21:21
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The remains of a car in Laguna Niguel, CA

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 21:14
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The Coastal Fire seems to have maintained at around 200 acres today, according to a tweet from the Orange County Fire Authority

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 20:57
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The sun burns through a smoky sky outside Ocate, NM as the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire continues to spread

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 20:50
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A helicoper douses the brush around the Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel, CA

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 20:45
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Firefighters battle home blazes last night in Laguna Niguel. Over 20 homes have been destroyed by a fire that started in the nearby canyon

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 20:37
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The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where some research in the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II took place, is currently on evacuation watch as a result of Cerro Pelado fire north of Albuquerque

The lab is in “set” status on the “ready, set, go” system, where “go” is a mandatory evacuation order

Ethan Freedman12 May 2022 20:31

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