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Four large wildfires burning in Colorado in hot, dry weather

August 17, 2020 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Four large wildfires have been spreading in Colorado in hot and dry weather, including one that has grown to 133 square miles (344 square kilometers).

The lightning-sparked Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction burning in remote, rough terrain, remained 7 percent contained while the Grizzly Creek Fire east of Glenwood Springs was at 39 square miles (101.01 square kilometers) with no containment on Monday. A 57-mile (92-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 70 has been closed for a week because of that fire.

Two newer fires were also burning in northern Colorado. The Williams Fork Fire, which started Friday, was burning on 9.9 square miles (25.64 square kilometers) in a remote area of trees killed by beetles about two decades ago near the town of Fraser, firefighters said. It is believed to have been human caused.

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Meanwhile, the Cameron Peak Fire, 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, started Thursday. It has spread to 18.9 square miles (23.05 square kilometers) and is burning in heavy timber stands in rugged terrain, firefighters said. Its cause is under investigation.

In southwestern Colorado, Cortez set a new record temperature Sunday with a high of 98 degrees, the National Weather Service. The previous record for the day was 95 degrees set last year.