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Techies evac'd as raging wildfire menaces $100m Colorado data centre

Thousands flee as flames eat into city

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A massive HP data centre in Colorado Springs is in danger of being destroyed by a wildfire raging near by.

The data centre, located alongside a HP laboratory and office on Rockrimmon Boulevard in Colorado Springs, is in the mandatory evacuation area (PDF) for the fire, although the fire hasn't reached that street yet.

"The fires in Colorado have resulted in the temporary closure of our facility in Colorado Springs," HP told The Register.

"We can confirm that all HP employees were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported. HP is monitoring the situation closely, and has plans in place to assist our employees and minimize any disruption to our customers."

HP only built the $100m data centre in the last couple of years, adding to an existing campus in the area that now spreads out over 360 acres.

Colorado has a thriving tech sector with IBM and EMC offices in the city of Boulder, over 100 miles (161km) away from the wildfire, and Intel in Fort Collins, over 200 miles (322km) away.

In the last update on the Waldo Canyon Fire, which started on Saturday 23 June, 27 crews were fighting the fire – which was spread over more than 18,000 acres and threatened over 20,000 residents and commercial buildings.

Around 32,000 people have been evacuated from the area as the fire broke through containment lines and into Colorado's second-most populous city. Authorities estimate that the fire has caused $3.2m worth of damage so far.

The fire's size and its proximity to the Air Force Academy, as well as to popular tourist areas including the famous Pike's Peak mountain, have made it headline news. ®

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