Forecast storms may help in Western wildfires fight


Associated Press

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 5 at 7:03 PM

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Firefighters battling huge wildfires up and down the Rocky Mountains are hoping for some help from nature.

Severe thunderstorms are forecast that could dump a large amount of much need rain from southwest Colorado to the plains of eastern Wyoming and Montana.

However, optimism is tempered by the possibility that the storm cells could be too small and weak, and may make matters worse with high winds and lightning strikes.

The weather is already helping those fighting Colorado's Waldo Canyon fire that destroyed nearly 350 homes and scorched 28 square miles. Light rains and cooler temperatures have officials hoping to have the blaze fully contained by Sunday.

Firefighters also reported progress on a 145-square-mile fire surrounding Laramie Peak about 100 miles northwest of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

160-a-08-(Jerri Marr, forest supervisor, Pike and San Isabel National forest, at news conference)-"to do so"-Forest Service supervisor Jerri Marr says crews have made a lot of progress trying to contain the Waldo Canyon fire. (5 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *160 (07/05/12)>> 00:08 "to do so"

068-a-15-(Zandra Zieman-Foster, who's house was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire, in AP interview)-"house was lost"-Zandra Zieman-Foster says she and her family are having a tough time coping with the loss of their home. (5 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *068 (07/05/12)>> 00:15 "house was lost"

065-a-10-(Angus Foster, who's house and musical instruments were destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire, in AP interview)-"and replace them"-Musician Angus Foster says he lost a collection of prized instruments when his family's home was destroyed in the Waldo Canyon fire. (5 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *065 (07/05/12)>> 00:10 "and replace them"

162-a-15-(Jeff Kramer, public information officer with the El Paso County sheriff's office, at news conference)-"yet been determined"-Jeff Kramer with the El Paso County sheriff's office says they've found the spot where the Waldo Canyon fire started. (5 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *162 (07/05/12)>> 00:15 "yet been determined"

161-a-13-(Rich Harvey, fire incident commander, at news conference)-"from the air"-Fire incident commander Rich Harvey the part of the Waldo Canyon fire that has not been contained is in a very hard-to-reach area. (5 Jul 2012)

<<CUT *161 (07/05/12)>> 00:13 "from the air"

APPHOTO UTSAC408: Mike Stevens from Lone Peak Fire fills up a pumper truck with water to battle a wildfire near Alpine, Utah, on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. The fire has charred 2,887 acres and destroyed one barn since it started Tuesday afternoon. About 500 homes will remain evacuated for at least the next two days. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Kim Raff) (4 Jul 2012)

<<APPHOTO UTSAC408 (07/04/12)>>