(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — Some 7,000 residents of the Colorado Springs area were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday, but for many, they returned to a pile of rubble left behind by a wildfire that destroyed some 350 homes. The blaze is now 45 percent contained.
Anne Marie Borrego of the American Red Cross says many evacuees of the Waldo Canyon wildfire had been under an evacuation order for days and had no idea what they would find when they returned home. Many found they had lost everything.
Colorado officials say the number of evacuees from the wildfire now stands at 3,000, down from more than 30,000 at the peak of the fire.
Colorado Springs city official Steve Cox is warning residents that a burn ban is still in effect as the Fourth of July approaches. Cox says the temptation to light fireworks may be great for some folks, but another wildfire would be the worst thing that could happen to the community.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Faith Karimi and Steve Almasy, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Sophie Tatum, CNN
Amanda Jackson, CNN