Blistering Heat and Dry Conditions Spread Colorado Wildfires

Author: Robert Weller
Published: June 10, 2012 at 5:35 am

Estes Park Trail Gazette

With the entire state experiencing drought conditions, two wildfires have broken out in northwestern Colorado this week.

It could be confirmation of a nasty fire year ahead. A blaze near Denver killed three homeowners in late March.

No injuries have been reported in the two fires burning this week.

Both the latest wildfires were in Larimer County, north of Denver. Two days after the Stuart Hole fire, the first conflagration, was controlled, a fast-spreading blaze was reported Saturday west of Fort Collins on Roosevelt National Forest and private land.

More than 100 evacuation notices were sent on the latest blaze, said John Schulz, public information officer for the Larimer Sheriff’s Office. It covered at least up to 3,000 acres and spreading rapidly due to high winds.

A single-engine air tanker and two helicopters were ordered to help firefighters.
Temperatures in Denver were forecast to approach a record 95 degrees. Fort Collins was at 93 degrees, but humidity in both locations was low.

Denver and Fort Collins were reporting winds ranging from 10 to 15 mph and a red flag warning was issued.

An approaching cold front was not expected to reach the Front Range until around midnight. It could lower temperatures by 20 degrees.

About a quarter inch of rain helped fighters contain the first fire, reported near Livermore. No homes were reported damaged, but two or three out buildings burned.

Firefighters said many trees in the fire area were dangerous, and marked as many of them as possible.

Lightning caused the Stuart Hole fire.

The cause of the High Park fire was not yet known.

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Article Author: Robert Weller

Journalist for 40 years, working in 30 countries and 11 states. Mostly for AP. Coverage has included Columbine, South Africa, Alaska Pipeline, India Gandhi assassination, wars, disasters, art, PTSD, skiing, Liberia, Uganda et al. …

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