North Texas campers evacuated from Colorado wildfire

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 27 at 5:22 PM

ALLEN — A towering wildfire tearing through Colorado doubled in size overnight to 24 square miles.

It has forced evacuations for more than 32,000 people living near Colorado Springs, and that includes some kids from North Texas, whose summer camp was in the direct path of the flames.

Dozens of campers left Eagle Lake Camps Saturday for a thrilling day of whitewater rafting — but they never made it back.

"It was really scary," said Abbey Turner of Allen.

Campers and counselors took photos of the fast-moving fire that surrounded the camp, forcing an evacuation, and leaving them stranded.

"We drove for three-and-a-half hours," Turner said. "We didn't know where we were going or what was happening, really. So we were all just kind of concerned."

The 16-year-old Allen girl was among them. She doesn’t have anything else she took with her to the Christian-based camp... not even her clothes.

"I don't care about earthly possessions,” she said. “I just want the camp to still be there, so other people can go."

Turner said everyone stayed calm, but it did cause some nervous moments back home in Allen.

“You have no phone numbers or cell phone numbers," said Abbey's mother, Terri Turner. "All you have is information for the camp — but nobody's there."

The Colorado Springs community gave the teens food, a place to stay and gift cards to buy clothes. The fires cut Abbey Turner's summer camp by two weeks, and she said that is her biggest disappointment.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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