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Fires force evacuations in Western U.S.

A fire raging in Canon City, Colorado forced residents to flee their homes.
A fire raging in Canon City, Colorado forced residents to flee their homes.  

CANON CITY, Colorado (CNN) -- A fast moving wildfire that quickly consumed 7,000 acres Sunday was expected to "get up and run again" Monday, a fire official said.

"Dry conditions and stiff winds" had fanned a fire on Iron Mountain, west of Canon City, said Barb Masinton, fire information officer with the National Interagency Fire Center. The fire had destroyed 20 homes and 10 other structures, she said.

The fire also was threatening about 200 other homes in the valley, Masinton said. Some residents were moved out of their homes Sunday night and more evacuations were expected Monday, with the fire expected to spread further as dry conditions and strong winds persist.

Gallery: The fires of June 
Colorado: The Iron Mountain fire near Canon City has burned 20 homes, consumed 7,000 acres and threatens 200 more dwellings. A 13,000-acre fire near Tercio in Las Animas County, close to the New Mexico border, was moving toward a methane-gas field.Another Las Animas County fire has burned 4,200 acres and forced the evacuation of 11 ranches.

New Mexico: A 2,000-acre to 3,000-acre blaze crossed into Colorado to merge with the Tercio fire.

California: Two fires burn in the San Bernardino National Forest, consuming more than 3,000 acres.

Masinton said some residents were taken to their homes overnight to check on their belongings.

"This is not a forced evacuation, but we encourage people whose homes are in the line of the fire to leave," she said.

Fire crews are on the ground and helicopters are being used to drop retardants on the fire.

Farther south, near the New Mexico border, a 13,000-acre fire in Las Animas County was moving toward a methane-gas field, The Associated Press reported. About 300 firefighters were en route to help battle the blaze near Tercio. A 2,000-acre to 3,000-acre fire in northeastern New Mexico crossed the border into Colorado late Sunday and merged with the Tercio fire, the AP said.

In California, firefighters gained ground Monday on two fires burning in the San Bernardino National Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

"Cooler temperatures helped keep the fire down low overnight and kept it from spreading," said Daniel McCarthy, U.S. Forest Service public information officer. "Crews will continue to put fire lines down today to get the fires under control."

The Arrowhead fire, which has burned 2,688 acres, is now 80 percent contained, according to McCarthy. A second blaze in Bee Canyon has burned 432 acres and is 50 percent contained.

McCarthy said the weather had cooperated Monday, but the fire season was far from over.

"We continue to have little rain and the vegetation is drier than usual, so the potential for more fires is increased," McCarthy said.

Both fires were manmade.

The California Department of Forestry accidentally started the Arrowhead fire during a firefighting training session. McCarthy said the cause of the second fire in the San Bernardino National Forest was still under investigation.

McCarthy said both fires are low enough on the slopes that they are not threatening any homes.




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