Badger Creek Fire grows to more than 5,000 acres Tuesday

Badger Creek Fire grows to more than 5,000 acres Tuesday

Evacuation orders were lifted in the afternoon for 560 residences and 20 businesses in the Rockwood, Tamarron and Glacier Club areas.

The federal government spent a record $2.9 billion to suppress last year's fires, Forest Service officials said.

"We recognize the conditions are dry and hot", Gov. John HIckenlooper said in a statement. Winds out of the west are expected to gust to 25 miles per hour.

A wildfire erupted Tuesday in an area of Colorado known for its ski resorts, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes and marking the latest in a series of blazes that have ignited in the drought-stricken U.S. West. Firefighters said Monday that full containment of the 416 Fire was not expected before the end of the month.

Flames engulf trees in the Wildernest neighbourhood.

He saw the flames taking over the area when he was evacuated Tuesday night and said he was anxious if his home of 15 years would be there when he returned.

"We recognize that this is hard for the local businesses and the local economy and just ask that people just be understanding and patient", Hooley said.

We're told a Moab firefighter's home was among those burned.

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The blaze about 13 miles north of Durango is in the Four Corners region where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet and which is in the middle of a large swath of exceptional drought. Fire managers credited advance fire mitigation work by homeowners for helping firefighters save the structures.

The Ute Park Fire in New Mexico began May 31 and forced 2,200 people in the area to evacuate their homes within the first three days of the blaze. Another fire nearby has burned about 4 square miles (10 square kilometers).

The more than 800 firefighters working that blaze have employed every measure in the book to keep homes along the perimeter out of harm's way, including burning grasses and bushes ahead of the fire, bulldozing and shoveling fire breaks, dropping retardant from a small fleet of aircraft and installing sprinkling systems.

The closure will remain until sufficient precipitation eases the fire danger. Almost 400 seasonal and permanent homes have been evacuated because of the fire near the Colorado border.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Meanwhile, a wildfire in Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest doubled in size over 24 hours, burning about 8 square miles. By Thursday, the fire was 95 percent contained.

Graham said earlier that 2,162 structures or homes have been evacuated since the beginning of the fire, and 500 residents are now on pre-evacuation.

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