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Central Colorado wildfire evacuation orders lifted

December 6, 2021 GMT

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters made progress containing a 15-acre (6-hectare) wildfire in a central Colorado mountain community as authorities lifted evacuation orders Monday for residents who were forced to leave their homes a day earlier.

Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Albers told reporters the fire began Sunday as a structure fire and destroyed two homes, a cabin and a small number of outbuildings. About 20 firefighters were working the fire, about five miles (eight kilometers) west of Idaho Springs, he said. The cause was under investigation.

The fire was 50% contained Monday, with full containment possibly by Wednesday evening, Albers said.

Residents of about two dozen homes were ordered to evacuate as the fire erupted amid high winds Sunday and fed on extremely dry fuels.

The fire was originally estimated at 20 acres (8 hectares), but overflights confirmed its size at 15, Albers said.

In Jefferson County, hand crews expected to contain a 12-acre (5-hectare) fire west of the Denver suburban community of Ken Caryl, the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District said Monday. No structures were threatened. That fire, too, erupted Sunday, and its cause was being investigated.

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This story has been updated to correct that the Clear Creek County fire is 50% contained with full containment possibly Wednesday.