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Wild Fire 4 Mile Update.

2y ago
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Colorado Wildfire Destroys Dozens of Homes DENVER (Sept. 7) -- A wind-whipped wildfire sent flames roaring through a rugged canyon in the Colorado foothills, forcing hundreds of people to flee and destroying dozens of homes - some that belonged to the firefighters themselves, authorities said early Tuesday. Firefighters were waiting until sunrise to count the exact number of houses that have burned, said Brett Haberstick of the Sunshine Fire Protection District. The blaze broke out Monday morning in Four Mile Canyon northwest of Boulder and rapidly spread across 5 1/2 square miles or 3,500 acres. Erratic 45-mph gusts sometimes sent the fire in two directions at once. Crews managed to save the historic town of Gold Hill, including an old West grocery store and structures once used for stagecoach stops. But firefighters in the area had to relocate their engines and equipment several times to avoid the flames. "The fire moved too quickly and was much more active than anticipated," Haberstick said. Despite the fire's destructive advance, no injuries have been reported, although some residents told of narrow escapes. "I just drove through a wall of flames," Tom Neur told KDVR-TV. "The bumper is melted off in the front of the van." Neur's wife, Anna, left earlier, and the couple reunited at temporary shelter. They said their house was destroyed. "I don't care about the house," Anna Neur told her husband. "I'm just glad you're OK." Fire managers said 1,000 homes had to be evacuated from the canyon and surrounding areas. Four belonging to firefighters were destroyed. Those firefighters were allowed to leave to attend to their families and personal affairs, said Laura McConnell, a spokeswoman for the fire management team. More than 100 firefighters were on the scene on Monday, and the winds quieted enough by late afternoon to allow three tankers to drop more than 40,000 gallons of fire retardant along the leading edge of the fire. The winds pushed the fire through three canyons where pine trees have been left prone to fire by disease, drought and beetles that burrow under the bark of pine trees, fire managers said. Such beetles have killed more than 3.5 million acres of trees in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.