Monday 22 January 2018

800 firefighters battle huge Colorado blaze

Nick Allen in Los Angeles

More than 800 firefighters were battling a 68-square-mile wildfire in Colorado last night that wrapped the city of Denver in a cloud of smoke.

Fourteen helicopters and five heavy air tankers were being used to douse the fire.

It broke out early on Saturday near Fort Collins, about 60 miles northwest of Denver, and was caused by lightning.

The fire has so far claimed one life, that of Linda Steadman (62) whose remains were found in the ashes of her burnt-out cabin.

More than 100 buildings have been destroyed and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper declared a disaster.

In Washington, a spokesman said President Barack Obama had called the governor to offer additional resources if needed.

Steve Segin, of the Rocky Mountain incident team, said the fire was 10pc contained.

The blaze was one of at least 19 large fires burning in nine US states including Arizona, California, Utah and Wyoming.

In southern New Mexico, a 56-square-mile fire threatening the village of Ruidoso damaged or destroyed at least 224 homes and cabins, and that number was expected to increase.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez said: "It's truly heartbreaking to see the damage done to this beautiful part of the country." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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