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Emergency evacuations ordered, reported damage to structures



Harsh weather conditions and burning sun obstructed the efforts of firefighters in Colorado as they attempted to control three forest fires – one in Costilla County that destroyed several structures on Thursday, others in Grand County and a third near the Ute Pass ,

The Costilla County wildfires in the San Luis Valley between Fort Garland and La Veta, which began as a 1,200-acre fire, grew to nearly 4,000 acres on Wednesday and remained unoccupied on Thursday. Nearly 350 primary and vacation homes were evacuated on Thursday in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains by the Costilla County Emergency Management Office and they were offered accommodations in the community center of Blanca-Fort Garland

San Luis Valley Emergency Management tweeted that some structures had been burned through the wildfire. However, it is not clear if the structures contain houses.

Linda Smith, a spokeswoman for the San Luis Valley Emergency Operations Center, said, "Structures have been lost."

"I do not know if they were houses, I know there are many houses in the area," she added, the Denver Post reported.

The Costilla County sheriff's office announced that it was still investigating the damage and would soon release more information about the wildfire

Wildfire ” title=””/> A firefighter working on control of the Rhea Fire at Seiling, Oklahoma, April 17, 2018. [19455910] Photo: REUTERS / Nick Oxford

A forest fire near the Grand Lake Grand Lake golf course has forced evacuations of hundreds of homes Thursday afternoon. Grand Lake Fire Department said the areas north of County Road 48 east toward Rocky Mountain National Park to Highway 34 were evacuated.

Around 300 homes were ordered to evacuate into the Columbine Lakes and Grand Lake Golf Course neighborhoods and a total of around 450 people were evacuated, the Grand County Sheriff's office confirmed.

The evacuees were given accommodation in 301 Marina Drive. They are not allowed to return home until Friday, Sky News reported. The fire extended over 20 acres and no damage has been reported to buildings so far.

County Road 48 was closed to the public.

The Denver Channel reported that a heavy air tanker was called to help the firefighters. It was reported that two combat helicopters were fighting the fire and 85 firemen were on the ground.

Electricity was cut off to customers, but natural gas remained in the region.

The sugarloaf fire near the Ute Pass burned an estimated 300 acres to the high-altitude tundra. Grand County officials believe the fire was ignited by a lightning strike Wednesday night. However, no damage was reported to buildings.

"The USFS manages several fires in the region and prioritizes resources where lives and property are at risk," officials said Thursday evening, CBS Local reported

"Although the Forest Service Management is not complete Using suppressive techniques, they are looking for ways to prevent growth while minimizing the risk to firefighters, "they said, adding that" public safety and the fire department are most important. " 19659019]
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