COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Authorities say it remains too dangerous for them to fully assess the damage from a destructive wildfire threatening Colorado’s second-largest city.

Colorado Springs emergency management director Brett Waters said Wednesday morning that officials don’t know how many houses have been destroyed in the blaze that has forced mandatory evacuations for more than 32,000 residents.

The fire is nowhere near contained, but incident commander Rich Harvey says firefighters have been able to establish and maintain a line of protection in some areas.

Fire information officer Rob Dyerberg says the blaze doubled in size to about 24 square miles overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

Thunderstorms are expected in the afternoon, but Harvey says they could bring unpredictable winds that would hinder firefighters’ efforts near the city of 419,000 people.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – Calls for residents to voluntarily reduce their water usage during this year’s drought and mandatory restrictions in some parts of Mesa County have failed to get results.

Earlier this month, Grand Valley domestic and irrigation water companies asked customers to conserve water whenever possible.

Redlands Water & Power Co. has already ordered an alternating watering schedule for thousands of irrigation customers because there was not enough water running through its hydroelectric-powered pumps for them to be able to get water to all its customers.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado’s longest-serving Republican congressman, Doug Lamborn, easily fended off a primary challenge. With 87 percent of the projected vote counted, Lamborn leads Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha 62 percent to 38 percent. Now in his third term, Lamborn was the only incumbent congressman from Colorado facing a primary challenge.

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