Fire forces evacuation of 8,500 houses near Denver

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2011 5:22 PM
Fire forces evacuation of 8,500 houses near Denver

Authorities say a wildfire burning in an outlying Denver suburb has forced the evacuation of about 8,500 houses.

They have ordered evacuations for homes within a 4-mile radius of the fire near Franktown, which is about 35 miles southeast of Denver.

The fire started on 4 acres Thursday afternoon in a wooded area and is being driven by winds of 30 mph and stronger.

Smoke from the blaze is visible from south Denver suburbs and a helicopter is dropping water.

A Red Cross evacuation point has been set up at the Douglas County fairgrounds.

Crews are also still trying to contain a roughly 2-square-mile wildfire in the foothills west of Golden. The area on the east side of the Rockies is at high fire danger.