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Is the Colorado wildfire the future norm?

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 10:42 a.m. MDT

A wildfire burns in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colo., on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Firefighters on Sunday were fighting wildfires that have spread quickly in parched forests in Colorado and New Mexico, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and the evacuation of wolves from a sanctuary. The Colorado fire grew to 22 square miles within about a day of being reported and has destroyed or damaged 18 structures.

The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson, Associated Press

Our take: With the climate changing, scientists believe that the characteristics of the Colorado wildfire could be something that will be seen often in the future. In that case, it is important to know the characteristics to take preventative action.

The Colorado fires feature "a lot of the characteristics we would expect under climate change," according to climate scientists.

For the past thirty years, residents of tiny Laporte, Colo., near the Wyoming border have gathered inside Bob's Coffee Shop to swap gossip over coffee and danishes near the dense pine forest of Lory State Park. But since the weekend, Bob's has become a very different kind of social hub: a de facto refugee camp for homeowners fleeing what many here call the worst wildfire in decades.

Read more about the Colorado wildfire on The Atlantic.

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