Colorado wildfires displace thousands, prompt national forest closure

Colorado wildfires displace thousands, prompt national forest closureBy Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) – Firefighters battled to gain control over several large wildfires in Colorado on Tuesday, including two blazes at opposite ends of the state that have prompted the evacuation of more than 3,500 homes and the closure of a national forest. The largest and most threatening blaze, a 12-day-old conflagration dubbed the 416 Fire, has scorched more than 23,000 acres (9,461 hectares) of drought-parched grass, brush and timber at the edge of the San Juan National Forest near the southwestern Colorado town of Durango. Fire crews made some headway against the blaze on Tuesday, managing to extend containment lines to 15 percent of the fire’s perimeter, up from 10 percent on Monday, despite persistent hot, dry conditions and fierce winds of up to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).



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