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The Latest: Crews battle 3 wildfires in Colorado

September 16, 2019

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on Colorado wildfires (all times local):

12:46 p.m.

A lightning-caused wildfire in southern Colorado is being allowed to burn trees killed by beetles or knocked over by winds.

Officials said Monday the fire has burned about 1.3 square miles (3.4 square kilometers) in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area on national forest land. It’s about 9 miles (15 kilometers) south of Salida.

No evacuations have been ordered, but smoke may settle onto U.S. Highway 50 in the evenings.

Fire managers say 37 ground crew members are on the scene and a helicopter is available.

Elsewhere in Colorado, a fire near Red Feather Lakes northwest of Fort Collins has burned 542 acres (219 hectares) and is about 32% contained. A third fire near the town of Bailey has burned about 11 acres (4.4 hectares) and was close enough to some rural homes to prompt evacuations.

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10 a.m.

Firefighters are working to contain two new wildfires in Colorado that prompted mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.

A wildfire near the Red Feather Lake area in the mountains northwest of Fort Collins has burned nearly 400 acres (161.8 hectares) since it started late Sunday morning. Nearby residences were advised to voluntarily evacuate, and power was interrupted to hundreds of residents in the area.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Department said about 30 percent of the fire was contained late Sunday. It’s believed the fire started from a burning vehicle.

Another fire broke out in Park County near the town of Bailey, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Denver.

The fire burned about 11 acres (4.4 hectares) but was close enough to some rural homes in the area to force evacuations.

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