La Veta, Colo. (AP)- Wind–whipped wildfires burning in southern
Colorado have destroyed at least five houses. The fires are burning on about six–thousand acres in the Spanish Peaks area near La Veta (lah–vee'–tuh) and firefighters say they're still learning about the extent of damage. Winds are gusting up to 40 and 50 miles per hour, preventing
authorities from attacking the fires from the air. About 215 families have been evacuated in Las Animas County, but the number for Huerfano (wehr'–fah–noh) county isn't known. Deputies there had to go door–to–door because they have no reverse 9–1–1 system. One of the two fires was a controlled burn earlier in the week that started again despite efforts to keep it down. The U.S. drought monitor says the area is abnormally dry, and the U.S. Forest Service rates the fire danger there as very high to extreme, citing gusty winds and dry grasses.
Temperatures were in the 50s, but the national weather service
says a cold front was expected to bring a slight chance of snow
(copyright 2006 by the associated press. all rights reserved.)
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