Hundreds Evacuated As 3 States Face Growing Wildfires - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hundreds Evacuated As 3 States Face Growing Wildfires

LAPORTE, Colo. — The sun rose behind a wall of smoke from a large wildfire burning out of control in northern Colorado, while an unchecked blaze choked a small community in southern New Mexico as authorities in both regions battled fires Monday.

Hundreds of people have evacuated their homes and dozens of buildings have been destroyed as the fires have spread rapidly, authorities say.

The Colorado fire is burning on nearly 60 square miles in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins. It has grown so fast and put out so much smoke that an evacuee shelter had to be moved. The blaze has damaged or destroyed at least 18 structures.

In New Mexico, a wildfire near the mountain community of Ruidoso has burned more than 40 square miles and damaged or destroyed 35 structures. Some evacuated residents were allowed to return Sunday but were warned to be ready to leave again.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced Sunday evening she was ordering 100 National Guard troops mainly to assist with evacuations. They will support the 100 guard members deployed Saturday. They will be dispatched to help at shelters or stationed at various highways where people have to be turned back, Ruidoso spokeswoman Kerry Gladden said.

Military helicopters have also been deployed to drop water at both fires in addition to air tankers dropping slurry.

Smoke from the Colorado fire has spread as far away as central Nebraska, western Kansas and Texas. click here to read more

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