Southern Colorado wildfire forces evacuation of hundreds of people
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(Reuters) - Hundreds of people were forced to flee a southern Colorado town that was threatened on Tuesday by a wildfire that has destroyed seven structures and triggered an evacuation order, officials said.
The fire, which broke out on Monday near a highway leading into the town of Beulah, has charred about 3,000 acres (1,214 hectares), and firefighters have failed to establish any containment line around it, said Gayle Perez, a spokeswoman for the multi-agency team battling the blaze.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation on Tuesday.
Authorities have placed about 1,950 people under evacuation orders in and around Beulah, which is less than 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Pueblo, Perez said.
Most residents have heeded calls to leave their homes, she said.
High winds prevented fire officials on Monday from sending aircraft to drop water on the fire, Perez said.
Officials said they were hopeful that lower winds on Tuesday might allow for the water-drops to begin.
"We're hoping to get an upper hand on it this morning and really get at it before the winds pick up in the afternoon," Perez said in a telephone interview.
She could not immediately say how many firefighters were battling the wildfire.
Officials said the blaze had destroyed seven structures on the outskirts of Beulah.
Evacuated residents were offered the chance to stay at a school in Pueblo, according to a Twitter post from local officials that showed an image of cots set up in the gymnasium.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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