Buildings destroyed, people missing in Colorado wildfire

An out-of control Colorado wildfire fueled by high winds and hot temperatures left an unknown number of people missing, destroyed 10 structures and prompted evacuations on Saturday, fire officials said.

A blaze in northern Colorado was first reported Saturday morning and had grown to about 8,000 acres by mid-evening, while a fire in southern New Mexico was small for a few days until it began growing Friday, reaching about 10,000 acres.

Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Schulz said the fire expanded rapidly during the late afternoon and evening and by Saturday night, residents living along several roads in the region had been ordered to evacuate and many more were warned that they might have to flee. An evacuation center was set up at a middle school in Laporte.

Video: Massive flames erupt in Colorado (on this page)

Officials didn’t specify how many residents had been evacuated from their homes but the Colorado fire incident command reported it had sent out 1,200 emergency evacuation notices.

“Right now we’re just trying to get these evacuations done and get people safe,” Schulz told Denver-based KMGH-TV, adding that “given the extreme heat in the area, it makes it a difficult time for (the firefighters).”

Fire spokeswoman Jennifer Hillman said the so-called High Park Fire was zero percent contained, and said that authorities had been unable to locate or make contact with an unknown number of people who live in the area.

Ten structures have been damaged, although authorities were unsure if they were homes or some other kind of buildings. No injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire was unknown.

The fire incident command rated the fire’s growth potential as “high.”

The High Park blaze was reported about dawn Saturday and is believed to have started on private land and quickly spread into the Roosevelt National Forest, the forest service said.

It is the third major wildfire to hit Larimer County this spring in what has already been an active early wildfire season.

‘Good conditions to grow’
Deputies and firefighters went door-to-door telling residents to flee before flames forced them to leave the area, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith told reporters at a Saturday evening briefing.

One firefighter was hospitalized for heat exhaustion earlier in the day, he said.

Aerial footage from KMGH-TV showed flames coming dangerously close to what appeared to be several outbuildings and at least one home in the area, as well as consuming trees and sending a large plume of smoke into the air. Plumes of smoke could be seen from the Denver metropolitan area.

original post at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47754113/ns/weather/

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About Jack Garrand
I am new to blogging and hope to share my gaming interests with the world.

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