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Weather helps Colo. firefighters

July 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

DENVER, July 4 (UPI) -- Calm winds Wednesday morning helped firefighters battling the Waldo Canyon blaze west of Colorado Springs, officials said.

But fire crew spokesman Richard Hadley said the calm and moderate rains over parts of the burned area could give way to afternoon thunderstorms, which in turn might produce flash floods and high winds, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette reported.

The newspaper said the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch Wednesday morning for the Waldo Canyon burn scar area. Hadley said the public needs to stay aware of changing conditions.

By Wednesday morning, 80 percent of the wildfire had been contained, though 18,247 acres had been burned.

The Gazette said firefighter progress has moved the total containment date of the fire, which started June 23, to Sunday.

The fire has cost $13.6 million so far, and more than 1,200 firefighters remained on the fire lines, Hadley said.

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