Colorado Fire Sets Destruction Record

Death toll now at 2
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2013 3:15 AM CDT
Updated Jun 14, 2013 5:36 AM CDT
2 Dead, Hundreds of Homes Gone in Colorado Fires
Blackened areas define the path of a wildfire that destroyed some homes and left others untouched in one neighborhood in the densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo.   (AP Photo/John Wark)

The Black Forest Fire, near Colorado Springs, has claimed 360 homes, a record for the state, the Denver Post notes in its live blog. Meanwhile, 15,700 acres have burned and the fire is just 5% contained—and the death toll now stands at two. Some 38,000 have evacuated, and it appears the dead were trying to do the same: The bodies were reportedly found in a garage, next to a packed car with open doors, the New York Times notes. Witnesses earlier spoke to the victims, a sheriff says, per CNN. "They said that they could see a glow to the west. They were packing their personal belongings, trying to get out." Their deaths have changed the nature of the Black Forest Fire probe; it's now a criminal investigation.

Now, some 750 firefighters, along with helicopters and air tankers, have set up something of a perimeter around the fire—but it's "very, very active within the containment area, and we don't have a high level of confidence at all that we'll be able to hold all of these lines," says an official. With temperatures set to remain in the 90s today along with winds of up to 30mph, the blaze is likely to roar on for several more days, CNN notes. "All we can do is fight," says Gov. John Hickenlooper. (More Colorado stories.)

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