Hot, Windy Weather to Challenge Colorado Fire Crews

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
Residents of about 250 homes in northern Utah were being evacuated Friday after high winds kicked up a fire started by target shooters.

Embargo: Denver, CO High Park wildfire continues to burn.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (AP) - Residents of about 250 homes in northern Utah were being evacuated Friday after high winds kicked up a fire started by target shooters.

The 750-acre blaze started Thursday near the Saratoga Springs landfill and high winds helped fan the flames onto tinder-dry grasslands.

Authorities were initially worried as flames moved toward property owned by an explosives company. But as winds kicked up, the fire began moving toward Saratoga Springs, and crews began focusing on saving homes.

No injuries or structural damage have been reported.

A continued mix of hot, windy and extremely dry conditions has raised the fire danger across Utah and parts of Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado.

Firefighters trying to encircle a 100-square-mile fire burning in northern Colorado were keeping a lookout for spot fires that could ignite outside the main fire. The mix of conditions that makes it easy for new fires to start and spread and cause existing fires to flare up is expected to last through Saturday there.

The fire west of Fort Collins has now destroyed at least 191 homes. It's also blamed for the death of a woman found dead at her ranch.

Meanwhile, the Village People will perform a free concert Saturday in Ignacio, Colo., to raise money for relief efforts at smaller wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico, The Farmington Daily-Times reported.

Those attending the show at the Sky Ute Casino will be asked to give cash donations to help relief efforts at a wildfire that's been burning for over a month near Pagosa Springs and a blaze along the San Juan River that destroyed three structures in far northwestern New Mexico.


-- In Colorado, heat and low humidity is also a concern at the 1,150-acre wildfire burning near Lake George, which is 57 percent contained.

- In Nevada, a wildfire that has charred nearly 12,000 acres of rugged terrain in northeast Nevada near the Utah line is 60 percent contained. It was started by a planned burn that escaped June 9.

- In California, residents were allowed to return to homes and cabins near a 385-acre fire near Sequoia National Park, and firefighters fully contained the blaze Thursday. A body was found at the scene of a small brushfire in the San Fernando Valley and authorities were trying to determine whether it was dumped there.

- In Wyoming, crews were preparing safety zones where firefighters can flee in case a wildfire that has scorched more than 4 square miles in Medicine Bow National Forest makes a run. It's 10 percent contained.

- In New Mexico, a fire that has destroyed 242 homes and businesses, the largest in state history, has blackened 463 square miles in the Gila Wilderness and is 80 percent contained. Meanwhile, a 360-acre fire along the Rio Grande on the northern edge of Albuquerque was 50 percent contained. Nearby residents were on alert, but no one has been evacuated.

- In Arizona, firefighters were maintaining lines around a wildfire that threatened transmission lines owned by two of the state's largest utilities. That fire near Young had grown to 11,011 acres. A separate fire in the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson was 60 percent contained after charring about 7,500 acres.

- In Hawaii, the largest wildfire of the season has scorched at least 5,200 acres on the Big Island.

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