Fast-Growing Colorado Wildfire Prompts Evacuations

Monday, 26 Mar 2012 09:57 PM

 

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A wildfire erupted amid dry, windy weather in Colorado on Monday and quickly spread to at least 200 acres, prompting authorities to evacuate 374 homes in the mountains southwest of Denver.

Up to a dozen smaller fires were reported from the northeast Colorado plains to the southern part of the state. There were no immediate reports of injuries or structures burned by any of the fires.

The 200-acre fire was about 25 miles southwest of Denver. Shelters were set up in two high schools and the Red Cross said it was preparing to send cots and blankets.

The National Weather Service said sustained winds of up to 40 mph hit the fire area with gusts up to 55 mph. Billows of smoke were visible from downtown Denver.

Another fire was burning on Lookout Mountain west of Denver, where homes dot the forest along a steep, winding road with spectacular views. No size estimate was immediately available.

The Colorado Department of Emergency Management said small grass fires ignited in Morgan, Logan and Weld counties on the northeast Colorado plains. Winds on the plains were gusting to 50 mph.

Denver airport officials warned that high winds could delay arriving and departing flights by up to 30 minutes Monday night

Pueblo County in southern Colorado reported nine small fires ranging from debris piles to a car destroyed in an auto body shop after embers from a trash fire spread to the building.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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