- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

COALDALE, Colo. (AP) - A wildfire in the southern Colorado mountains forced the evacuation of more than 100 homes as it moved Tuesday toward the small community of Coaldale.

Crews were working fire lines around the blaze that has burned about 19 square miles.

Fire managers say it was started Friday by a lightning strike in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

The fire was 3 miles southwest of Coaldale, an Arkansas River town about 35 miles west of Canon City.

To the north, a 566-acre fire near Nederland had destroyed eight homes, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said. Firefighters hoped to have it 25 percent contained by late Tuesday.

Investigators believe it began Saturday when two campers failed to douse a campfire.

Colorado’s largest current wildfire has blackened more than 30 square miles of beetle-killed timber in the northwest part of the state near Wyoming.

The fire that began June 19 was 5 percent contained after charring federal and state lands about 25 miles north of Walden. The cause is under investigation.


This story has been corrected to say that Coaldale is west of Canon City.

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