Colorado wildfire explodes, sending massive plume of smoke in sky

COLORADO (KABC) -- Windy and dry conditions continued to fuel a massive fire in Colorado, one of several currently burning in the state.

The East Troublesome Fire burning near Rocky Mountain National Park exploded Wednesday, sending a large plume of smoke in the sky as crews on the ground worked to contain the flames.

The blaze grew in size overnight from about 19,000 acres to more than 125,000 acres, forcing the entire town of Grand Lake to evacuate.

Normally, snow helps tamp down the devastation by this time of year, but drought across Colorado and warming temperatures have dragged out the season, fire scientist Jennifer Balch said.

"We don't see October fires that get this large," she said.

Colorado's fires haven't destroyed as many homes as the headline-grabbing wildfires in California and the Pacific Northwest the past few months, but they have worn down residents already weary from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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