Colorado wildfire 30 percent contained

June 30, 2012 at 5:30 PM
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COLORADO SPRINGS, June 30 (UPI) -- The Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs, which has burned 347 homes and killed at least two people, was 30 percent contained Saturday, officials said.

But firefighters said they'll face more difficult weather conditions than Friday, The Denver Post reported.

Incident Commander Rich Harvey said Saturday the air will be hotter and dryer and winds will be stronger and will change directions.

He said gusty winds could accompany possible afternoon thunderstorms.

The weather forecast called for temperatures near 100 degrees Saturday, 15 degrees above normal for this time of year, the Post said.

"We feel real great about the hard work we've done," said Jeri Marr, U.S. Forest Service supervisor. "Today will be a great test."

The fire had burned 17,033 acres as of Friday night, and nearly 1,300 people are battling the blaze. The cost of fighting the fire has reached $6.9 million.

The remains of two people were found at a home, authorities confirmed Friday, and neighbors said a couple in their 70s lived there alone and have not been seen or answered their cellphones since the fire started.

The Colorado Springs Police Department was trying to locate some people who remained unaccounted for.

Officials say they're trying to arrange to bring residents into the Mountain Shadow neighborhood by Sunday so they can inspect their properties.

Officials said Friday U.S. Forest Service investigators want to talk to anyone who had been in the Waldo Canyon or Pyramid Mountain areas in the afternoon, evening or night of June 22, the day before the fire was reported.

The Post reported the FBI has previously said it's working with local officials to determine whether the fire occurred as a result of a criminal act.

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