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CNN Today

Colorado Evacuees Wait Helplessly as Homes Remain Threatened by Fires

Aired June 16, 2000 - 1:05 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: And they could use the rain, and lots of it, in Colorado. Two wildfires there have destroyed more than 50 homes and blackened more than 29 square miles of land. At least 800 people have been evacuated in both areas since Monday.

As Cheryl Preheim (ph), from CNN affiliate KUSA tells us, some of those people had just a moment's notice to pack their belongings.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like a war zone up there. It's like a nuclear bomb hit it.

CHERYL PREHEIM, KUSA REPORTER (voice-over): It's a day where residents and firefighters share a common frustration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hurry up and wait, pretty much.

PREHEIM: They're at the mercy of Mother Nature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really nerve-wracking to wait and watch the winds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The wind's really gusty today, so I doubt we'll even get up there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like a tornado wind going around like this, and it's coming from all different directions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a time-bomb waiting to go off.

PREHEIM: Whipping fire right towards the French (ph) family's home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told us to get out. We're hurrying as fast as we can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting all my stuff round up.

PREHEIM: They scramble to save family heirlooms and family pets. They have 14 dogs and a cat. Firefighters lend a hand. They spray foam on the house...

UNIDENTIFIED FIREFIGHTER: We're just going to make a stand and save this house.

PREHEIM: ... while family members race to clear a fire line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going. We're going now.

PREHEIM: They're forced to leave and join hundreds of others who wait helplessly, hoping for the best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go home. My dog wants to go home. All I can do is just wait, just wait it out and hope those hard- working fire crews up there can get things under control and get us back home.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALL: That was our affiliate, KUSA, and reporter Cheryl Preheim.

If today's good weather holds out, people who are evacuated from their homes may be allowed to check on their property this afternoon. But that is a "may."

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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