FORT COLLINS, Colo.— The wildfire season that Coloradans have been nervously awaiting arrived in a wind-whipped frenzy in the foothills near Fort Collins.
The year's first major along the populous Front Range was spotted late Friday morning and raced across 750 to 1,000 acres by Friday night. More than 50 homes were threatened, and authorities issued hundreds of evacuation orders.
Though Saturday's weather shouldn't fan the flames, weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce says Sunday's forecast doesn't look promising. Winds are expected to kick up to the 20 to 30 m.p.h. range, which won't work in firefighters' favor.
AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
A wildfire burns out of control at Horsetooth Reservoir west of Fort Collins, Colo.
Firefighters saved two homes and the visitors' center at Lory State Park from flames, authorities said. They said no homes had been destroyed.
The fire was burning west of Horsetooth Reservoir, near the scene of a large wildfire last summer that burned 259 homes and killed one person. The cause was under investigation.
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Nick Christensen, spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff's Department, says strong winds that caused havoc Friday had died down by Saturday morning, and many of the residents who were forced to leave the area were allowed to return home. No injuries have been reported and no structures have been damaged.
Christensen says 579 phone lines received automated calls ordering evacuations, but he did not have an exact count on how many people were forced from their homes.
The fire, which is 5 percent contained, is burning west of Horsetooth Reservoir, near the scene of a large wildfire last summer that burned 259 homes and killed one person. Authorities say the latest fire was started accidentally.
MORE IMAGES FROM THE COLORADO WILDFIRE:
Near Fort Collins, Colo.
A wildfire burns out of control at Horsetooth Reservoir west of Fort Collins, Colo.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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