Fast-Growing Western Colorado Wildfires Force Evacuation Of 90 Homes - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Fast-Growing Western Colorado Wildfires Force Evacuation Of 90 Homes

Updated:
NEW CASTLE, Colo. (AP) _ If those ordered from their homes near a 1,000-acre fire in western Colorado left without a fuss, it could be because they've experienced the devastation of wildfires before.

The blaze, in steep terrain about 160 miles west of Denver, was burning close to the site of a 1994 fire that killed 14 firefighters.

``It's been a really scary fire. Its behavior has been bizarre. We're struggling to get a handle on it,'' Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said.

The wildfire was one of three firefighters faced Tuesday. Together the blazes have burned at least 2,000 acres in western Colorado.

Officials forced the evacuation of 90 homes near Glenwood Springs and advised the evacuation of 110 others.

Local residents Chuck and Beverly Johnson said they didn't leave during the 1994 fire. But they started packing Tuesday.

``We are getting our valuables, paintings and getting out of here,'' said Chuck Johnson, a retired forester. ``The smoke from the fire is tremendous.''

Planes and helicopters dumped water and fire retardant and crews had dug a containment line around at least 15 percent of the fire by Tuesday night, but predictions for more hot, dry and windy weather Wednesday had firefighters fearing another tough day.

No structures had burned by Tuesday night. One firefighter injured his hand and another suffered heat exhaustion.

Meanwhile, firefighters contained 80 percent of a fire on federal land in a remote and rugged area near Cameo, 180 miles west of Denver.

A third fire was contained Monday night after charring four acres near houses and natural gas wells outside the town of Parachute, west of Glenwood Springs.

All three fires were blamed on lightning strikes Sunday.

In California, a wildfire broke out Tuesday in a brush-filled canyon below a residential neighborhood in northern San Diego.

A city firefighting helicopter was brought in before sundown to drop water on the fire. No evacuations were reported.
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