Apr 5, 2011 10:39 PM by Greg Boyce

Evacuations ordered at Larimer County fire

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Authorities are asking people in 21 homes to leave the area where a 5-square-mile wildfire is burning in northern Colorado.

Fire managers say strong winds have kicked up flames in the foothills west of Fort Collins. Winds with gusts above 35 mph have grounded aircraft that had been dropping water on the fire Tuesday.  Residents have been on alert since Friday when the fire started in the hilly, rugged terrain.  The blaze exploded overnight Saturday when winds reached 50 mph and higher. More than 300 homes were temporarily evacuated.

Snow and cold weather helped calm the blaze Sunday and Monday, allowing crews to contain about 15 percent of it. But forecasts had fire managers bracing for Tuesday's warm, windy weather.


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