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The Latest: Calm winds help fight against Colorado wildfire

October 04, 2016 - 6:31 PM

BEULAH, Colo. - The Latest on a wildfire that forced the evacuation of a rural Colorado community (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

Firefighters say calmer weather has helped them handle a blaze that destroyed at least eight homes and scorched about 8 square miles in southern Colorado.

Three helicopters and three air tankers, along with about 400 firefighters on the ground, battled the wildfire near Beulah on Tuesday, preventing additional evacuations.

The fire was reported near the small town Monday and quickly spread in winds that gusted up to 50 mph. All people living in the town and the surrounding valley southwest of Pueblo — about 1,950 residents — were ultimately ordered to leave the area after the flames spread in various directions.

They have not yet been allowed to return home.

The fire also destroyed at least six outbuildings.

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12:40 p.m.

A wildfire has forced hundreds from their homes in southern Colorado and destroyed seven homes, but authorities are hopeful they can get a handle on the blaze.

The fire broke out Monday near the town of Beulah and quickly spread in winds that gusted up to 50 mph. All people living in the town and the surrounding valley southwest of Pueblo — about 1,950 residents — were ultimately ordered to evacuate after the flames spread in various directions.

Winds weren't as strong Tuesday, allowing helicopters to drop water on the fire, which has grown to over 7 square miles.

Sheriff Kirk Taylor said firefighters are going to "kill this thing" and promised to let residents back into their homes as soon as possible.

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9:50 a.m.

Hundreds of people in a rural community in southern Colorado have been forced from their homes by a wildfire that spread quickly in strong winds.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office says all people living in the town of Beulah and the surrounding valley, about 1,950 people, were under evacuation orders Tuesday.

The fire broke out Monday, prompting an initial wave of evacuations. The sheriff's office later decided to evacuate more people while escape routes were passable.

The fire has destroyed at least seven structures. Sheriff's spokeswoman Gayle Perez said some of them were homes, but it's not clear yet how many. No injuries have been reported.

The fire was burning as snow fell in parts of Colorado's mountains, causing accidents along portions of Interstate 70.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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