Sep 7, 2010 4:51 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Boulder County fire doubles in size; more evacuations expected

Firefighters ramped up their battle Tuesday against a wildfire that forced about 3,000 people to flee their homes as the wind-whipped blaze filled the surrounding canyon with heavy smoke and flames.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle says the fire has burned about 7,100 acres, or 11 square miles. Authorities previously estimated the fire at 3,500 acres.

More evacuations are expected.

Pelle says the fire in the foothills west of Boulder has destroyed dozens of homes, including the homes of nine firefighters.

No injuries have been reported.

Gov. Bill Ritter says he has declared a state of emergency and authorized $5 million for the fire.

Authorities are investigating reports that the fire started Monday when a car crashed into a propane tank.


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