The Forgotten Secrets Of The Enterprise Giants: Virality, Word Of Mouth, And Other Radical Experiments
Editor’s note:David Barrett is founder and CEO of?Expensify. I would strongly encourage everybody who competes with Expensify to study Roman Stanek’s latest article,?”Forget Virality, Selling Enterprise Software Is Still Old School.” To everyone else, I’d offer an opposing view: Enterprise sales is undergoing the most radical shakeup since the turn of the century, and today’s experiments will be tomorrow’s best practices.
Editor?s note: Researchers exploring Mars via rover and satellite have to adapt to the longer day on the Red Planet. Katie Worth, whose Can Earthlings Adapt to the Longer Day on Mars? for Scientific American earlier this week describes the consequences of sleep-pattern changes, is trying it out herself. Follow her experiences in living on ?Mars time? at this blog to see how it affects her sleep and behavior. This post is the first in a series.
When my editors suggested I live on Mars time for a while and write about how it feels, pretty much everyone else (and by ?everyone else? I mean five NASA officials, four sleep scientists and my mom) was skeptical.
But never being one to heed advice like ?You?re going to absolutely hate it,? and ?This experiment will make you prone to walking under a bus and dying,? of course I immediately accepted the proposal.
Mars is smaller than Earth, but it rotates more slowly, which results in a day 40 minutes longer than the 24 hours we enjoy on our planet. When NASA lands a roving robot on Mars, which it has successfully done seven times in the last 36 years, its operations teams must live for a while on Mars time, so the rovers can take full advantage of every moment of daylight on the Red Planet. So, say today their work schedule was 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. (pretending for a moment they?re not pulling 15 hour shifts), tomorrow they would arrive closer to 9 A.M. In a week they would be showing up at 1 P.M., and in three weeks, at 10 P.M.
As it turns out, this spazzy schedule is incredibly obnoxious, because as you slog through two time zones every three days, everyone else in your life (in this case ?everyone else? means your spouse, your kid?s daycare provider, and your favorite Peet?s barista) stubbornly adheres to just one time zone, as does the sun, which is largely in charge of setting your body clock.
But it?s not all bad. Here are some are some anticipated pros of living on Mars time:
- I can get out of helping my friends move on Saturday morning. Dang, you know that?s smack in the middle of Marsnight! Sorry about that.
- For me, the stakes are low. I work from home, and while being a freelance journalist is challenging and fun, it?s not like the fate of a $2.5 billion planetary exploration mission will be jeopardized if I become as fatigued as a cowardly football player and fall asleep on my keyboard.
- I work alone so I don?t have to worry about having affairs with my coworkers. Which apparently has been a nontrivial problem on some Mars missions. NASA engineer and sci-fi author Gentry Lee, who has worked on every rover project since the 1976 Viking missions, says? that people living Mars time have the habit of getting divorced. ?As you might expect, the people working on Mars time have a high affinity for bonding with one another,? he says, chuckling. ?Well come on, it?s a normal thing ? you?ve just been sweating your butt off for 10 hours with your colleague next door and it?s 2 o?clock in the morning and, gosh, you?d like to have a drink, and they say, ?Well, you can come to my apartment!??
- I can finally be cool enough to shut the bars down. I live in Santiago, Chile, and like most Latin American cities, bars here don?t close till well after dawn. Usually I am the party pooper who leaves while the stars are still visible. Not anymore!
- I can finally put all these rolls of aluminum foil and duct tape to good use. NASA can afford real blackout curtains and special, sleep-inducing light bulbs, but I get to try some DIY tricks. I can feel a Pinterest board in the works.
- I get to join an awesome and exclusive club that includes this kid, who appears to be the smartest and coolest 13-year-old boy in the history of time. He and his siblings followed their father, Curiosity mission flight director David Oh, into Mars time for a month last summer, and he blogged about it.
- This is probably the closest I?ll ever get to actually living on another planet. My lifelong dream of being an interplanetary astronaut is starting to look like it might not come true, but at least I can pretend.
There are also, of course, a few drawbacks:
- It?s possible I will die a terrible and unexpected death, according to Harvard University sleep scientist Steven Lockley, who apparently has a lot in common with my mom. ?I hope you?re getting paid well for this because it?s going to knock you about a bit,? he advises. ?Don?t plan anything really vital over this time. I don?t want you driving, because you would be a true hazard. And be very careful about things like crossing the road. I don?t want you walking under a bus because you?re half asleep.?
- It might be harder to stay motivated because I won?t be doing the most exciting thing imaginable. Every NASA employee I talked to who?d lived on Mars time said the adrenaline of discovery kept them going at least for the first while. Per the irrepressible Lee: ?On Viking, I was sent home after working 17 days straight, at least 17 hours a day. It was just so damn exciting ? it was the first time humanity had ever had a prolonged mission on another planet. When I got up in the morning, I would rush down to find out what the temperature was on Mars. It was fascinating, but that?s because nobody had ever done anything like that before.?
- Santiago is entirely bereft of places to buy ice cream cones at 6 A.M. Or at least, as far as I can tell. If you know otherwise, give me the scoop (har har) in the comment section.
As you can see, the pros clearly outweigh the cons. And thus encouraged, I launch into Day 1 of my Marstime adventure.
?If you’re kids love Lego as much as mine do, this is one stop they won’t want to miss. From the moment you walk into the entrance you are transported to a world of Lego. From the columns filled with Legos to the oversized characters, everything seems to be made of Legos. Located in the Grapevine Mills Mall in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, this Discovery Center is fun filled way to spend time with the kids.?
When we arrived my little ones were eager to get in, luckily for us we chose a day when they weren’t packed. As I hear they tend to get pretty full so plan your trip accordingly. When you first enter you are treated to a tour of their brick making factory where their resident scientist guides you through the wonderous process. It’s all for show but the kids got a kick out of it, they even got “freshly made” brick when the tour was over.
The kids spent the most time in the Racers Build & Test center complete with test ramps where they could build cars from the bins full of Legos and test their speed and launch abilities by rolling them down various race tracks and launch ramps. My youngest son could have sat there for hours tinkering away.?
They even had an area designed just for toddlers and babies. The girls played in the multiple little pits while the boys ran around like crazy children!
In the middle they have a large jungle gym play zone for kids 40″ to 57″ tall~ the Lego City Play Zone. Lil’s only 36″ but that didn’t stop her from joining in the fun. Shhh, don’t tell… Remember to bring socks though, the kids are not allowed in the play zone without them. I saved this section for mommy break time, they could run and climb and slide to their hearts content while I got some time to sit and relax while watching them play. They also have a princess dress up area and karaoke stage just for little girls which was nice since some of the other activities were geared more towards the boys. The kids didn’t stay there long though…..the movies were starting!!? They had 2 different 4D movies playing when we went and we made sure to catch them both. They were fun for the kids and parents alike. The stories were entertaining and it’s always fun watching the kids reach out and try to touch the characters and effects. Be warned though, the forth dimension is wind and water. Nothing you’ll need a towel for but, exciting none the less. And what amusement park would be complete without rides? Though much smaller than your typical theme park, they sure managed to stuff in plenty of?activities?to keep the kids going without feeling crowded. They have an interactive ride called “Kingdom Quest” where you yield lazer blasters to vanquish your foes in a quest to rescue the princess. *There is no cameras allowed near this ride.
There is even an indoor/outdoor go-cart track the Lego Forest Ranger Pursuit where you’re little ones can test their driving skills(its is?definitely?a pursuit as the kids attempt to maul down the?attendant)?. Don’t worry they aren’t too fast. My oldest, Fast Eddy, true to his namesake flew around the track lapping the other kids while Carrot Top spent most of his time either pinned to the side wall or being freed from said side wall. Either way, they both had fun and begged for another run around the track.
Last, but not least, was Merlin’s Adventure. This was Lil’s favorite and she made sure to ride it multiple times- with a parent of course due to her tiny stature. You are taken to a land of wizards and magic where you get to ride round and round in circles while pedaling to control your vehicle’s height. The kids thought is was great.
My personal favorite was Miniland. Here they had scale models of most of DFWs main attractions, all made from almost 1.5 million Legos. There was the Dallas Airport complete with planes runways and little air traffic controllers. Cowboy’s stadium, downtown Dallas, and even the mall we were in while viewing these amazing creations were replicated in Legos. I’ve got to say I was quite impressed with the accuracy and realism of the models. We felt like giants as we viewed them from above.
If you get hungry while you are there the have a small cafe with snacks and drinks. Not to many choices for a vegan family but, it is located in the mall so we decided to eat in the food court after we left. There is also a birthday room where you can eat cake and open presents if you choose to have a birthday party there.
?When all is said and done, be prepared to exit through a well stocked gift shop. You can buy all sorts of Lego product from full sets to individual bricks. They even have a make your own Lego people area which Carrot Top absolutely loved seeing how he would choose Lego people over any Lego set. We allowed them each one Lego person of their choice as a momento.
LegoLand Discovery Center Dallas/Fort Worth is packed full of fun things to do…….so make sure you leave enough time in the day to get it all done! Tickets are available at kiosks in the mall, and online! You can bundle your ticket with one to the Sea Life aquarium which is also in the mall for a special price!!
Stay tuned all month for more great Dallas/Fort Worth fun! For now, you can connect with LegoLand on Facebook to be first to know about coupons and specials!
HGF was not paid for this post. We were provided with a product to review, and we have provided our honest opinion. Thank you to the sponsoring company for working with HGF. You can view our complete?PR policies here.
Three-day Winston-Salem event includes guest appearances, giveaways & much more.
ST. PAUL, Minn. --(Ammoland.com)- The excitement surrounding outdoor recreation will jump up a notch soon, as the North Carolina outdoors community finds fun, freebies and celebrities at the grand opening celebration for Winston-Salem?s new Gander Mountain store.
Special events and appearances are happening all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 8-10, to celebrate the nation?s largest retail network of outdoors specialty stores opening its latest North Carolina location.
?We?re excited to officially open our doors to the countless outdoors enthusiasts in Winston-Salem, and bring Gander Mountain?s thousands of products and great customer service to the region,? said Steve Uline, Executive Vice President of marketing for Gander Mountain. ?We?ve put together a fun and informative grand opening weekend that will fit nicely with our new neighbors? passion for the outdoors and active living.?
The new store is located at 1950 South Stratford Road in Winston-Salem, just off I-40 at exit 189. The attractive exterior design and interior layout of the store reflect Gander Mountain?s new store prototype featuring innovative interior elements, displays and fixtures. The grand opening weekend will include special extended hours, with doors open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Grand opening weekend events and appearances include:
- Jacob Landry and Bruce Mitchell, stars of History?s television series Swamp People will appear Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Matt Hagan, 2011 NHRA Funny Car Champion and Rocky Pro-Staffer will appear Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m
- Jamie and Jacob Satterfield, stars of Savage Outdoors, will appear Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Andy Montgomery, an Elite Bassmaster Angler and Strike King Pro-Staffer, will appear Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The first 100 customers through the door at the Winston-Salem location on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a free $10 Gander Mountain gift card.
- The first 250 customers to make a purchase at the Winston-Salem location on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a free Gander Mountain hat.
- Customers can register for a chance to win one of three $500 Gander Mountain gift cards at the Winston-Salem location.
Winston-Salem?s new Gander Mountain features the best selection of gear and accessories for hunting, fishing, camping, boating and archery in North Carolina. The store offers an extensive selection of men?s and women?s active performance outdoor and lifestyle apparel featuring exciting brands like The North Face, Columbia, GSX, Under Armour, Guide Series, Carhartt, Marmot and a wide variety of men?s and women?s active footwear featuring brands like Asics, Merrell, Rocky, Keen, Irish Setter, Teva, New Balance, LaCrosse, Itasca, and Saucony
Those interested in careers with Gander Mountain can explore current opportunities and submit an application on-line at www.GanderMountain.com/careers.
For more information, or to shop on-line, visit www.GanderMountain.com.
About Gander Mountain Company
Gander Mountain Company headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., is the nation?s largest retail network of outdoor specialty stores for hunting, fishing, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services. Since 1960, Gander Mountain has offered the best selection of outdoor equipment, technical apparel, active casual wear, and footwear featuring national, regional and specialty brands at competitive prices. Focused on a ?We Live Outdoors?? culture, Gander Mountain dedicates itself to creating outdoor memories. There are currently 119 conveniently located Gander Mountain outdoor lifestyle stores in 24 states. For the nearest store location call 800-282-5993 or visit www.GanderMountain.com Gander Mountain is also the parent company of Overton?s (www.overtons.com), a leading catalog and Internet based retailer of products for boating and other water sports enthusiasts.
South West Sydney,?New South Wales,?Australia Posted: 2013-01-31
Advertiser: The Next Step – Sydney
- Newly created role
- Market leader
- South West Sydney – c. $180-200K fixed package plus bonuses
Your new organisation is recognised as the leading organisation in its core market, offering a truly national service covering all of Australia as well as key global markets.? It is a dynamic organisation that operates in a highly customer focused and commercial environment.? The business’ success is closely linked to its commitment to recruiting, training and recognising high quality people.
Reporting to the Human Resources Director in a national position, you will be a strategic partner to a key Director of the business, as well as managing a small team in a busy operational HR environment. ?The business is undergoing transformation on a number of levels, and accordingly you will play a key role in driving organisational change and leading associated HR programs. ?
To be successful in this fast-paced, customer focused environment you will display:
? A strong track record in senior HR Generalist roles in a unionised environment
? The ability to drive change and influence at all levels of a business
? A strategic mindset combined with a willingness and capability to execute in a fast paced operational environment
? Energy, passion and the drive to achieve results
? Strong conceptual thinking and the ability to work in a changing environment
? A strong technical HR toolkit that includes IR, ER and driving Organisational Change
You must have the right to live and work in Australia to apply for this job.
Please apply?on-line?or?for further information in confidence telephone Adam Wilson or Leoni Barnett in the Sydney office?quoting Ref. No 1414298.??
The Next Step
Level 3, 107 Pitt Street, Sydney
Telephone (02) 8256 2500
Facsimile (02) 8256 2501
Apply for this job
Email this advertiser
Sorry If I have been MIA..but I have had some computer issues and happy to be up and running again.
I was not sure what to title this post.
I do believe at this point in our lives my husband and I
are antique collectors. Our home is filled with special treasures not only from family passed down, but treasures he and I have hunted and gathered together.
I have been promising to show you around the pub room.
I do believe everyone should covert their dining rooms into one.
After all, how many times do you really use your dining room?
We hang out in the pub room often, with family, friends and lots of times just
Mike and I. ?We love to listen to music, hang out and talk.
This will be a mostly pictures post because everything here has a story,
and probably a long one knowing us:)
Blinged out Shriners hat.
This was a recent gift from my Mom to Mike.
This was a light I found at a local antique mall.
Had to have it, and knew exactly where to put it.
This Old scale we have had for awhile.
We like to display our treasures on it.
This is my Grandfathers piggy bank still filled with all his change.
One day I would love to open it and see how old the pennies are.
This is a recent purchase by Mike.
I believe he called it a smoke stand.
He loved the inside of the box all copper filled.
Sitting in the pub, as you can see the Family room is adjoined.
Still loving our newly painted FP hearth.
Our home is basically is an open floor plan.
Not that many walls dividing the lower level.
That is one of the things we love about it.
This picture was taken before I painted.
This clock btw is called a Granddaughter clock
it is just the perfect size for this corner.
Sad thing about this clock is it was given to a fellow on his retirement day.
There is a little engraved plate indicating that.
The family just got rid of the clock?too bad for them.
I found this beer can at an antique mall in Buffalo for Mike.
It had significance as you can see, he has the clock.
The clock holds a special memory for Mike as a child.
His Dad gave him this clock a few years back and now Mike can make new memories with this clock.
In fact, he even got a tattoo of this?Iroquois?Indian?it means that much to him.
The picture below is from our first gathering in our pub room.
We had everyone sign the invite. It was a great night!
Doesn?t everyone have a PULPIT in their home?
another interesting story and find for us.
So that?s the dining room turned pub room.
We found the PUB on ebay.
It was around the same cost as a nice dining room set $2,500.
The diy tin ceiling, my husband did. ?The cost of that was around $600.00.
He had no prior experience and found it to be a fairly simple job.
A little back breaking, but not hard to figure out.
Believe me, there are many more treasures and stories in here to speak of, but it would take me days to photograph and tell you about them.
You get the gist.
Thanks for stopping by today!
I have some catching up to do.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Research In Motion Ltd delayed the make-or-break launch of its next-generation BlackBerry phones until next year, in a devastating setback to the once-dominant technology company whose sales are crumbling.
Shares of the company, which also announced a steeper-than-expected quarterly operating loss and deep job cuts on Thursday, plunged 14 percent after it said it would release its revamped BlackBerry 10 devices early in 2013. It conceded the development had “proven to be more time-consuming than anticipated.”
The delay in releasing the devices – RIM‘s last best hope of stemming its eclipse at the hands of Apple Inc’s iPhone and phones using Google Inc’s Android software – confirmed the worst fears of analysts and investors.
The size of the loss, RIM’s first in eight years, and the likelihood that sales will keep sliding into 2013, severely reduce the options for the company if it is to survive.
RIM’s announcement that it would slash 5,000 jobs, or 30 percent of its workforce, only reinforced the impression of a company that could be in terminal decline.
“It’s like watching a puppy die. It’s terrible,” said analyst Matthew Thornton of Avian Securities in Boston.
“Wow, what a disaster,” said Edward Snyder, managing director of Charter Equity Research in San Francisco. RIM is now in “a handset death spiral,” he said. “From a numbers point of view, it could hardly be worse, and it’s going to deteriorate from here,” he said.
RIM, which virtually invented mobile email, has fallen from a leadership position to an also-ran in smartphones over a few years filled with delayed and uninspiring products, service outages and other embarrassments.
Now the new BlackBerry line will miss both the back-to-school and Christmas shopping periods, while the competition brings out new phones with more bells and whistles.
Apple is widely expected to unveil an iPhone 5 later this year, while a slew of manufacturers using Android are constantly pushing out new gadgets. Microsoft Corp is also planning to update its Windows software for mobile devices.
“There’s really no guarantee that once they come out on the other side of BlackBerry 10 that it’s going to be something that people will want,” said Eric Jackson, a hedge fund manager at Ironfire Capital in Toronto.
RIM’s board is under mounting pressure to consider unpalatable options such as selling its network business or forming an alliance with Microsoft, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer approached RIM earlier this year looking to strike a partnership similar to the one the software giant has with Nokia Oyj, the sources said. Under that partnership, Nokia will use Microsoft’s latest Windows operating system on its smartphones.
In such a scenario, RIM could also look for Microsoft to buy a stake in the company and fund marketing and other expenses, the sources said. However, this option is not attractive to RIM because it would mean the end of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s technology independence, they said.
Even so, freshman CEO Thorsten Heins gave no indication on a Thursday conference call that he was losing faith in the current tack of cutting costs while waiting for the BlackBerry 10 launch, which is now more than a year overdue. The new devices are now set to land in a slow period when consumers are tapped out after their holiday spending.
“It’s akin to launching fireworks underwater,” said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo.
RIM expects the job cuts to cost $350 million in the current fiscal year. It has pledged to slash $1 billion from its operating costs in the year, but now considers that target as a minimum it will pursue, given the additional BlackBerry 10 delay. It said it had already cut layers of management, streamlined its supply chain and outsourced repair work.
Analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee in San Francisco said RIM would now have to be very careful. “Layoffs are not free – there’s a use of cash with that. They have to be very careful with their cash balance. It’s a matter of survival now.”
RIM’s cash position – which has become a focus of concern for analysts as the company dips into the red – increased to $2.2 billion by the end of the quarter, and it aims to maintain that level this quarter.
The company conceded that may slip as it pays severance to reduce the workforce, but it declined to estimate the cash position going into 2013.
Shares of RIM, which have dropped about 70 percent over the past year, were down 14 percent at $7.86 in after-hours Nasdaq trading. At that price, the market is valuing the company at $4.12 billion, a far cry from its once-lofty market capitalization of about $84 billion.
RIM had warned it would post an operating loss but did not provide specifics. Excluding special items, the loss came in at $192 million, or 37 cents a share, for the first quarter ended June 2. Revenue declined 43 percent to $2.81 billion.
Analysts on average expected a loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $3.07 billion, according to an informal Reuters poll.
For the year-earlier quarter, RIM reported a profit of $695 million, or $1.33 a share, on sales of $4.91 billion.
RIM said it expected to post another operating loss in the current quarter, as it ships fewer smartphones. It shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones in the last quarter, only about half of the more than 14 million of two quarters ago. Until now, it had shipped more than 10 million devices every quarter since late in 2009.
RIM sent out 260,000 of its poor-selling PlayBook tablet computers, which it has discounted sharply after initially pricing them at levels comparable with Apple’s iPad.
Apple sold more than 11 million iPads last quarter. RIM said last month it would no longer produce the cheapest model of the PlayBook, which uses the same QNX-based operating system that the company is struggling to integrate into its future phones.
(Additional reporting by Euan Rocha, Susan Taylor, Cam French, Allison Martell, Jennifer Kwan in Toronto and Nadia Damouni in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty, Martin Howell, Lisa Von Ahn and Ian Geoghegan)
BEIJING — A tanker truck filled with gasoline collided with a truck in southern China on Friday, setting off an explosion and a massive fire that left 20 people dead and 14 others hurt.
The tanker was carrying 40 tons of gasoline when it crashed into the other vehicle early Friday morning on an expressway in Guangzhou city, capital of Guangdong province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Oil leaked from the tanker truck and triggered an explosion that set a timber mill and work sheds located under the expressway bridge on fire, Xinhua said. Most of those hurt were workers from the factory and one of them was severely injured, it said.
The agency cited the Guangzhou city’s Internet information office’s microblog account. The office’s phone number was not listed. Officials from the city’s government, police and fire brigade either could not be reached or said they had no information about the accident.
Other Chinese media reported that the tanker truck fell on its side and that the fire blazed across 2,000 sq. meters (2,400 sq. yards) of land, burning several other vehicles.
Footage on state broadcaster CCTV’s noon bulletin showed the fire had been put out.
State media say poorly maintained roads and bad driving habits result in about 70,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries a year in China.
For the next 22 weeks, MTV Movies Blog will be running what we call the Bond-a-Thond. Every Wednesday we’re taking a look back at a single (official) Bond film, giving you the vitals and seeing how it holds up, right up until the release of “Skyfall” on November 9. Feel free to watch along with [...]
Massive wildfires raging across Colorado have destroyed hundreds of homes and forced tens of thousands to flee, but better weather Thursday should help crews beat back the blazes.
“There is not a tool we won’t use,” fire incident commander Rich Harvey told reporters. “Today we will be incredibly aggressive. We have the horsepower in place.”
Summer wildfires are common in the mountains of arid Colorado but rarely burst into residential areas, as the Waldo Canyon Fire did earlier this week, forcing the evacuation of 36,000 people from the Colorado Springs area.
The fire, one of several blazing across the front range of the Rocky Mountains, has torched more than 18,500 acres (7,400 hectares) but there have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
In a sign of the scale of the destruction, US President Barack Obama plans to visit the state on Friday and offered his “thoughts and prayers” on Wednesday to the families impacted and those fighting the fires.
Residents were anxiously awaiting word on whether their homes were safe, but officials warned conditions were still too dangerous for a close assessment.
“I’ve been evacuated since Saturday. I have no clothes — nothing,” Virginia Caldwell said as she cradled her 18-month-old granddaughter at a Red Cross shelter.
She did not know whether her house was one of the 300 reportedly engulfed by the blaze, and her face was creased with worry.
“I’m up until two and three in the morning,” she told AFP.
Artist Colin Gingrich, 38, managed to get his watercolors out of his apartment but had to leave his acrylics.
“I’ll have to remember how they looked so I can do them over,” he said as he waited for news at the shelter. “I don’t have a car so I left with my neighbors… But I did get 50 pieces of art out.”
Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said he could not yet provide even a estimate of how many homes were lost, telling reporters Thursday morning only that “hundreds of homes have been destroyed.”
About 1,200 firefighters have been battling the blaze, helped by the US military and volunteer organizations in the area.
The blaze has also forced the evacuation of the US Air Force Academy where cadets joined fire crews in protecting their barracks and other buildings as the fire swallowed 10 acres of the academy’s land.
“This is absolutely the worst wildfire I’ve ever seen,” said Ernst Piercy, the Academy’s fire chief.
The wildfire, which began on Saturday, blew out of control Tuesday afternoon when winds changed directions, whipping up flames and causing them to jump fire lines.
It was not immediately clear what sparked the Waldo Canyon Fire — which has already caused an estimated $3.2 million in damage and threatens more than 20,000 homes — but Governor John Hickenlooper suggested it may have been human activity.
“There’s suspicion out there that we’ve got some idiot,” he told CNN Wednesday.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was helping local law enforcement to determine whether any of the fires were caused by “criminal activity” but has not opened an official investigation.
While the Waldo Canyon fire remains at only five percent containment, winds died down and humidity rose to the point that a “red flag” warning was withdrawn Thursday for the first time since the blaze began.
Record high temperatures, extremely low humidity and wind gusts of up to 60 miles (100 kilometers) an hour have fueled fires across the American West, where an unusually mild and dry winter left widespread tinder-like conditions.
The High Park Fire, a blaze sparked by lightning some 60 miles northwest of Denver — and described by the Denver Post as Colorado’s second-largest in history — has eaten through 87,284 acres but is now 75 percent contained.
Firefighters are also working to keep the Flagstaff Fire — estimated at just over 200 acres — away from the city of Boulder, home to the University of Colorado.
Several other fires are burning in other parts of the state — famous for winter skiing and adventure sports — including the Little Sand Fire, which was sparked by lightning on May 13 and has burned through 23,400 acres of land.
The neighboring state of Utah is also combating a major fire, which burned through more than 6,000 acres of grassland in an area south of state capital Salt Lake City.
More than 8,400 people, 578 fire trucks and 79 helicopters have been deployed to tackle wildfires around the United States, the White House said.