Colorado firefighters get break from hot weather

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colorado wildfire1 Colorado firefighters get break from hot weather

(AP Image)

(AP) – Firefighters are making progress on a wildfire burning on more than 100 square miles in northern Colorado that has destroyed more homes than any other in state history, but some residents were on standby Wednesday to be ready to leave because of a spot fire that ignited near the main blaze.

That spot fire ignited by embers from the main fire has grown to about 200 acres.

A break in hot, windy weather, though, should help firefighters there and at a 1,100-acre fire in the foothills west of Colorado Springs. Temperatures were expected to be in the 70s – about 20 degrees cooler than previous days.

A fire that broke out Tuesday in northwestern Colorado spread to about 3 square miles, or 2,000 acres, forcing some evacuations in a subdivision. However, the Craig Daily Press reported that the evacuation has been lifted.

The largest Colorado blaze, which is burning on 65,738 acres west of Fort Collins, was 55 percent contained and has destroyed at least 189 homes since it was sparked by lightning June 9. Incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said it could be weeks or even months before it’s finally controlled.

In California, firefighters were able to contain 75 percent of a 1,000-acre wildfire in mountainous eastern San Diego County despite gusty winds that kicked up Tuesday and low humidity levels. Full containment was expected Wednesday night.

One mobile home and recreational vehicle were burned, and 150 homes have been evacuated. Evacuation orders remained in effect Tuesday because of road conditions and emergency equipment in the area, said. Capt. Mike Mohler of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

One firefighter was treated for minor heat exhaustion and returned to duty. The cause of the wildfire, which started Sunday, is under investigation.

Elsewhere:

  • In Wyoming, nearly 300 firefighters are battling a wildfire burning in remote and mountainous area of the Medicine Bow National Forest that has burned about 4 square miles since Sunday.
  • In New Mexico, a fire that has destroyed 242 homes and businesses in southern New Mexico was 60 percent contained. A fire in the Gila Wilderness, the largest in state history, is at 463 square miles and is 80 percent contained.
  • In Arizona, firefighters built containment lines around a 3,700-acre blaze on the Tonto National Forest to try to protect electric transmission lines that provide power to the state’s major metropolitan areas. The fire was 15 percent contained Tuesday.
  • In Nevada, a 10,000-acre wildfire north of Ely was 15 percent contained.
  • In Hawaii, a 6-acre fire in Maui that damaged three homes was contained late Tuesday and residents were allowed back home.
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