Colo., N.M. wildfires burn 90,000 acres

June 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM
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DENVER, June 15 (UPI) -- Wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico had covered about 90,000 acres, destroyed buildings and forced evacuations, officials said Friday.

In Colorado, the High Park fire jumped the Poudre River, forcing the evacuation of at least 80 homes, The Denver Post reported.

The wildfire, about 15 miles northwest of Fort Collins, destroyed more than 160 structures, officials said.

Incident commander Bill Hahnenberg said high winds and low humidity allowed flames to breach the northern perimeter established by the river and Colorado Route 14, which creates "a whole different fire to deal with."

The fire had consumed more than 52,000 acres and was about 15 percent contained.

In New Mexico, firefighters were tryihg to contain the Little Bear fire affecting the Lincoln National Forest, including the White Mountain Wilderness, the reported Thursday.

The fire had burned about 38,000 acres and was about 45 percent contained. The report said 234 structures had been destroyed.

Closures include the entire White Mountain Wilderness and a portion of the Smokey Bear Ranger District south of U.S. Route 380 to the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

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