Colorado wildfire 10 percent contained, but more evacuations issued (+video)
The Colorado wildfire is one of 19 large fires burning in nine states. In Wyoming, a 4-square-mile blaze at Guernsey State Park is 80 percent contained. In New Mexico, more than 1,500 fire fighters are battling the largest blazes in state history.
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A 62-year-old woman perished in her cabin in Colorado's High Park Fire, which was caused by lightning and has destroyed more than 100 structures. More than 600 firefighters labored to build containment lines as air tankers and helicopters focused on protecting buildings.Skip to next paragraph
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Gueswel expressed her gratitude.
"I don't want anybody to die for my house," she said. "I love my house, but I don't want to die for it and I don't want anyone else to die for it."
In Wyoming, where crews made gains on two wildfires, state forester Bill Crapser said firefighters throughout the West are coping with drought, stands of trees killed by bark beetles, more residents in forested areas and a decades-old buildup of fuel — the legacy of quickly stamping out fires, rather than letting them burn as nature intended.
Forest residents need to do their part by clearing their property of fuel, he said.
"That's a tough thing to sell to a lot of people, because they move out there so they can have pine trees leaning over the top of their house," Crapser said. "That's part of the allure of it. But it's also part of the danger of it."
Across the West:
— Colorado: Thirty-four, 20-person crews and 100 engines were expected Wednesday on the High Park Fire. It has cost $3 million to fight.
— New Mexico: Nearly 1,000 firefighters and more than 200 National Guardsmen on the 56-square-mile Little Bear fire. Containment is 35 percent. More than 500 firefighters bolstered lines around the Gila fire, the country's largest at 438 square miles.
— Wyoming: A 4-square-mile blaze at Guernsey State Park is 80 percent contained. Firefighters neared full containment of a 13-square-mile fire in Medicine Bow National Forest.