The Waldo Canyon Fire continues to burn in areas near Colorado Springs. As of Sunday evening, the blaze was 55% contained, but burned nearly 18,000 acres, including almost 350 homes in the city, with two fatalities. Late last week, KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin donned flame resistant clothing and a hard hat to join a media group allowed to visit burned areas of the Pike National Forest. She has this collection of sound and images from the journey.

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News

Reuters/Landov
December 18, 2014 | WITF · Environmental groups cheered New York’s decision to ban the practice, and some in the industry say when it comes to good-paying jobs, New York’s loss is Pennsylvania’s gain.
 

Reuters/Landov
December 18, 2014 | NPR · The decision to normalize relations is driving all kinds of speculation about American food companies opening up shop in Cuba. But analysts say: Don’t expect to see McDonald’s there anytime soon.
 

UPI /Landov
December 18, 2014 | NPR · In independent review panel calls for changes ranging from a better fence at the White House to a new approach to training and leadership within the Secret Service.
 

Arts & Life

Film Movement
December 18, 2014 | NPR · The film If You Don’t, I Will has some strong dialogue and performances, but its tale of a marriage in peril sags too often in its recounting of the journey.
 

Courtesy of Serial
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Serial, the hugely popular (and sometimes controversial) podcast spun off from This American Life, wraps up its first season today. NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Serial creator Sarah Koenig.
 

Getty Images
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Ahead of The Colbert Report‘s last episode, Fresh Air listens back to interviews with Colbert. “I didn’t realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices,” he said.
 

Music

December 18, 2014 | WXPN · We speak with the head of Nacional Records about three essential latin alternative songs.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 18, 2014 | WXPN · David Dye sits down with Andrew Savage and Austin Brown to discuss their prolific year.
 

December 18, 2014 | NPR · Cuban rhythms and melodies have been part of what’s been called the most American of art forms — jazz — ever since Jelly Roll Morton first heard them in the port of New Orleans and used them in his music. Josephine Baker performed in Cuba and Nat King Cole recorded there. But the revolution made cultural exchange all but impossible and even supposedly open-minded artists and musicians took sides.
 

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