Editor's note: Yahoo News is publishing residents' accounts of the wildfires burning in Colorado this week. Here are photos and dispatches from one resident.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- As a resident only eight miles from the Black Forest, the sight I woke up to this morning was a somber one. The smell and thickness of smoke in the air at first was reminiscent of happy camping memories that quickly turned into a realization that I was not only smelling trees burning, but also the homes and possessions of an estimated 80 to 100 families.
The community had just been through this sort of tragedy less than one year ago with the Waldo Canyon fire, and we've learned a lot from the experience. However, many homeowners were only given 10 minutes to evacuate before the fire consumed their homes. Others had to watch helplessly on the news at live video of their homes up in flames. It is a tragic day for many Colorado residents.
My own experience started when I had to run an errand at the bank at about 12:45 p.m. on Monday. By the time I left the bank, I noticed a large plume of smoke coming from the Black Forest area and knew it wouldn't be good. A few hours later, I took the first photo from the parking lot of our local church showing the growing devastation.
The other two photos I took were on Vollmer Road within the evacuation area, which was blocked by police. If you notice the first picture with the blue sky and compare with the other two, you can see just how much smoke is covering the entire area. The air is dangerous, and all Colorado Springs residents are advised to stay indoors with the windows shut and air conditioning off.
Many prayers and donations are being sent to the evacuees and the numerous firefighters who are desperately trying to save homes and wildlife.
- Nature & Environment