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May 27, 2012 2:55 PM by Matt Stafford

Wildfires burn 7,000 acres in western Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. (AP) - Gusty winds have spread two wildfires in western Colorado that have burned more than 7,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of several campgrounds.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Steve Segin says crews are battling a wildfire that has scorched at least 5,000 acres of rugged canyon land north of Paradox near the Colorado-Utah border. Sheriff's deputies on Saturday evacuated the Buckeye Reservoir area, a popular recreation spot near the Utah border. The Rock Creek and Sinbad Valley areas also were evacuated.

Meanwhile, winds of more than 60 mph fueled a 2,325-acre fire northwest of Pagosa Springs, and several campgrounds in the area have been evacuated. The lightning-caused fire was reported May 13.

Heavy air tankers and thousands of firefighters are on standby across Colorado as fire managers keep a close watch on high winds and hot temperatures over the Memorial Day weekend.

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