Wind-fuelled wildfire becomes conflagration in Colorado

DENVER (US) – Fanned by strong gusts, a wildfire, which has been burning for two months in northern Colorado, became a conflagration this week, surging through 167,000 acres. It is the largest blaze in the history of the state, said officials.

Christened the Cameron Peak Fire in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, the conflagration has forced several mountain communities to evacuate and a large number of homes and campgrounds have been destroyed, said an interagency fire tracking website.

The wildfire broke out in mid-August and it blazed through large swathes of dry lodgepole pine trees laid waste by beetles in the mountains and through grasslands on the foothills.

“High winds combined with critically dry fuels have been driving fire growth,” as per the InciWeb site.

There have been reports of injuries or fatalities and officials said 56 per cent of the blaze has been contained.

Gusty winds reaching a speed of 70 miles per hour on Wednesday drove the blaze across 20,000 acres. Cooler weather and lighter winds the following day slowed its spread. However, fire officials are bracing for critical weather conditions on Friday.

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