COLORADO TOURIST CENTERS CAUGHT IN FIRE
- Wildfires moved in on some of Colorado's most popular summer tourist destinations over the weekend, destroying nearly two dozen homes near Rocky Mountain National Park and emptying hotels and campgrounds at the base of Pikes Peak, the Associated Press reported.
A wildfire near Colorado Springs erupted Saturday and grew out of control to more than 3 square miles early Sunday, prompting the evacuation of more than 11,000 residents and an unknown number of tourists. Authorities said Sunday that they were allowing about 5,000 of those residents to return.
On Saturday, a blaze destroyed structures near the mountain community of Estes Park, where many visitors stay while visiting the park. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that 22 homes and 2 outbuildings had been burned.
The two fires are among eight burning in Colorado a week before the Fourth of July, a key time for family vacations to national parks and other destinations. A statewide ban on open campfires and private fireworks has been in place for more than a week.
"We're used to flooding and tornadoes, nothing like this," said Amanda Rice, who recently moved to the area from Rock Falls, Ill. Rice, her husband, four children and dog left a Manitou Springs hotel late Saturday.
Rice, scared when she saw flames, took her family to the evacuation center before she was told to go.
"It was just this God-awful orange glow. It was surreal. It honestly looked like hell was opening up," Rice said Sunday.
With Colorado midway through its worst wildfire season in a decade, travelers have seen some of their favorite sites closed to the public, obscured by smoke and haze. Some travelers were awoken with evacuation orders.
Plumes of gray and white smoke poured from the mountains Sunday, obscuring at times Pikes Peak, the most-summited high-elevation mountain in the nation and inspiration for the song "America The Beautiful." Winds were pushing smoke away from Colorado Springs, but residents and tourists watched nervously as haze wrapped around the peak. Families planning whitewater rafting trips or visits to the stunning red-rock formations in Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs were instead spending their vacations passing out bottled water and setting up cots in evacuee centers.
- 1932 Inauguration of the Stalin irrigation canal's first section in Yerevan.
- 1962 Death of Arshak Alpoyachyan (armenologist) in Cairo. He was born in 1879.
- 1964 Creation of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Armenians Abroad in Yerevan.