Crews cede ground to northern Colorado wildfire

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Associated Press

Posted on June 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 23 at 2:31 PM

BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters battling a wildfire that's burning west of Fort Collins, Colorado, have had to retreat for their safety.

The blaze has scorched more than 118 square miles in northern Colorado and destroyed at least 191 homes.

Crews stationed near threatened homes yesterday have had to back off, and the team's commander says containment has slipped from 60 percent to 45 percent.

Authorities issued nearly 1,000 evacuation notices last night, some of which went to residents who had only returned home two days earlier.

Meanwhile, a fire in southwestern Colorado prompted authorities to order the evacuation of 22 homes this morning. The fire was reported Friday and has burned 700-800 acres.

In Utah last night, residents of at least 2,300 homes were evacuated as a fire burned more than 6 square miles south of Salt Lake City. High winds helped fan the flames onto tinder-dry grasslands.

A continued mix of hot, windy and extremely dry conditions has raised the fire danger across Utah and parts of Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. Forecasters expect strong winds to persist through the weekend.

%@AP Links

253-a-09-(Bill Hahnenberg, incident commander, High Park Fire, at news conference)-"we come out"-High Park Fire Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg says fire crews are up against dangerous, dry, windy conditions. (22 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *253 (06/22/12)>> 00:09 "we come out"

141-a-16-(Bill Hahnenberg, incident commander, High Park Fire, at news conference)-"in this fall"-High Park Fire Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg says firefighters may be fighting the huge blaze for a long time. (23 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *141 (06/23/12)>> 00:16 "in this fall"

139-a-06-(Bill Hahnenberg, incident commander, High Park Fire, at news conference)-"of fire growth"-High Park Fire Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg says so far 75,500 acres have burned. ((refers to Friday as 'yesterday' and Saturday as 'today')) (23 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *139 (06/23/12)>> 00:06 "of fire growth"

APPHOTO COEA114: The sun sets behind a plume of smoke from the High Park wildfire near Livermore , Colo., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The fire is burning on more than 68,000 acres west of Fort Collins and has destroyed at least 189 homes (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (22 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO COEA114 (06/22/12)>>

APPHOTO COEA107: Shirley Paskett, front, and her partner Pam Creech evacuate their home after the High Park wildfire crossed to the north side of Poudre Canyon the Glacier View area near Livermore, Colo., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The fire is burning on more than 68,000 acres west of Fort Collins and has destroyed at least 189 homes (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (22 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO COEA107 (06/22/12)>>

APPHOTO COEA105: Fire burns behind homes north of Poudre Canyon in the Glacier View area near Livermore, Colo., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The fire is burning on more than 68,000 acres west of Fort Collins and has destroyed at least 189 homes (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (22 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO COEA105 (06/22/12)>>

APPHOTO COEA101: Fire burns behind homes north of Poudre Canyon in the Glacier View area near Livermore, Colo., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The fire is burning on more than 68,000 acres west of Fort Collins and has destroyed at least 189 homes (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (22 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO COEA101 (06/22/12)>>

APPHOTO COEA103: Fire burns behind homes north of Poudre Canyon in the Glacier View area near Livermore, Colo., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The fire is burning on more than 68,000 acres west of Fort Collins and has destroyed at least 189 homes (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski) (22 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO COEA103 (06/22/12)>>

APPHOTO UTSAL101: Fire approaches homes near Saratoga Springs, Utah on Friday, June 22, 2012. About 1,000 homes are being evacuated after high winds kicked up a fire near a northern Utah dump. Fire officials were calling in additional aircraft to fight the fast-moving fire near Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain. At one point, the fire threatened an explosives factory. (AP Photo/The Deseret News, Jeffrey D. Allred) SALT LAKE TRIBUNE OUT; PROVO DAILY HERALD OUT; MAGS OUT (22 Jun 2012)

<<APPHOTO UTSAL101 (06/22/12)>>

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