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Central Colorado wildfire prompts evacuation orders

October 2, 2019

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — High winds have spread a lightning-caused wildfire in central Colorado that’s prompted evacuation orders for several neighborhoods.

Chaffee County sheriff’s and fire officials are alerting residents in areas south of Salida (Sah-LIE-dah) Wednesday to leave their homes as the fire burned on national forest land about 9 miles (15 kilometers) south of town.

The fire started Sept. 8 in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area. It has been allowed to burn trees killed by beetles and has grown to nearly 6 square miles (15 square kilometers). The fire has been 5% contained.

Officials say winds gusting to 35 mph were expected Wednesday.

Fire managers say 241 ground crew members are at the scene and planned to defend any threatened structures.

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