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Colo. fire destroys dozen homes; others evacuated

Associated Press Modified: October 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm •  Published: October 24, 2012

WETMORE, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire that forced the evacuation of hundreds of people in and around a small southern Colorado town has damaged at least 14 homes, authorities said Wednesday.

The 3 1/4-square-mile fire was burning near Wetmore, an unincorporated town in Custer County about 100 miles south of Denver.

About 380 people were evacuated after the fire broke out Tuesday and quickly grew in winds gusting up to 79 mph. The fire continued to spread through the night, forcing authorities to go door-to-door to evacuate seven more homes in neighboring Pueblo County.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon to help pay for the firefighting efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to fight the fire.

Meanwhile, a new blaze that broke out from a trash burn on private land in southwest Colorado prompted evacuations of about 30 homes Wednesday in Montezuma County. Winds pushed that fire across 386 acres and prevented planes and helicopters from dropping any water or retardant on the fire, sheriff's Lt. Ted Meador said.

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