Evacuees From Colorado Wildfire Get OK to Return HomeHundreds had been forced from homes west of Fort Collins
Onlookers stop to watch the fire on the east side of Horsetooth Reservior west of Fort Collins, Colo., on Friday. (AP Photo/The Coloradoan, V. Richard Haro)
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - People forced from their homes by a wildfire in the foothills west of Fort Collins have been given the OK to return.
Fire officials said that all evacuees could return as of 8 p.m. Saturday, but warned that some should remain prepared to leave again if necessary.
The blaze had charred 750 to 1,000 acres and was 45 percent contained, officials said.
It was spotted Friday morning and strong, erratic winds helped push it through rugged terrain west of Horsetooth Reservoir, near the scene of a large wildfire last summer that burned 259 homes and killed one person.
Calmer weather on Saturday allowed crews to gain the upper hand.
Tony Simons with Larimer County Emergency Services said cloud cover and higher relative humidity helped the more than 100 firefighters battling the blaze.
No injuries were reported, and no structures were damaged.
After the fire was spotted Friday, 860 phone lines received automated calls ordering evacuations, but some addresses have multiple lines and other numbers were cellphones, so the exact number of homes in the evacuation area was not known. Officials said a second round of 579 phone lines received the calls later that day.
The fire, which authorities say was accidentally sparked and was not the result of a prescribed burn, comes as much of the state deals with drought conditions after a relatively dry winter.
Colorado's wildfire season also started in March last year.
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