Crews Battle At Least 3 Wildfires In Colorado; 3 Firefighters Dead

By: KKCO - Email
By: KKCO - Email

Ordway, Colo. (AP) Authorities say 35 different agencies are battling an 8,900-acre blaze that's scorched 14 square miles near Ordway, and is now 80 percent contained.

Sixteen structures outside Ordway have been damaged, as well as eight buildings inside the town. It's not clear how many, if any, of those buildings are homes or businesses.

The town's 1,200 residents remain evacuated. Governor Ritter plans to visit the area Wednesday.

The fire claimed the lives of two Colorado Department of Corrections officers who were acting as firefighters for the Olney Springs Volunteer Fire Department. They've been identified as 29-year-old Sergeant Terry Davore and 38-year-old Officer John Schwartz Junior.

Meantime, a pilot is dead after a firefighting plane crashed near Fort Carson. The pilot was battling a blaze at the army post that's charred 9,600 acres, or about 15 square miles, and forced the evacuation of people living nearby.

The pilot's been identified as 42-year-old Gert Marais of Fort Benton, Montana. Marais worked for Aero Seat near Sterling Colorado. His single engine air tanker crashed around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday evening.

A third fire near Carbondale has damaged at least two homes and left a fisherman with minor injuries.

That blaze is estimated at 1,000 acres, and is only 25 percent contained.

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