A plume of smoke rises in the background from a wildland fire over a temporary firefighting station set up on the grounds of the Air Force Academy as fires roll through housing subdivisions in the mountains north and west of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The fire has forced the evacuation of more than 32,000 residents of the communities west of and now in Colorado Springs proper. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A raging wildfire roared through neighborhoods and forced 32,000 residents of Colorado Springs to flee their homes. The 24-square mile fire scorched the edges of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday. Thick smoke and towering flames cloaked the full scope of damage to Colorado's second-largest city. A separate fire burning in northern Colorado has grown to 136-square miles and destroyed 257 homes. Elsewhere in the West, wildfires in central Utah and Billings, Mont., have each destroyed dozens of homes and forced hundreds of evacuations. Another wildfire in Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest has charred about 19 square miles as of Wednesday.