Emergency officials warn of fire danger

Wildfires destroy nearly 100 buildings as threat intensifies in southwest while major Colorado fire is nearly contained.

AUSTIN, Texas (UPI) | April 10, 2011


Firefighters in Texas battled 18 wildfires as officials said fire conditions were among the "worst in Texas history," officials said.

On Sunday the conflagration destroyed about 80 homes and buildings, many of them in the small mountain town of Davis.

The U.S. Forest Service Sunday warned residents of dangerous conditions that could cause a host of wildfires akin to those that destroyed 11 homes and killed four people in 2009.

Firefighters in north and west Texas Saturday battled 18 fires amid strong winds, CNN said. The Swenson fire in northern Texas burned nearly 62,000 acres and destroyed at least one home, said Alan Craft of the Texas Forest Service.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the western parts of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile in northern Colorado, the Crystal Fire outside Fort Collins, is finally 90 percent contained, authorities said Sunday.

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team said crews secured a fire line on the northwest of the blaze with a 10-acre controlled burn Saturday, The Denver Post reported.

The fire, which broke out April 1, now covers some 2,940 acres after burning 13 structures down.

"The Crystal Fire has been an excellent example of interagency cooperation," Incident Commander Paul Summerfelt said.

In the southeast of Colorado, evacuations were ordered in Baca County Saturday after a grass fire jumped across the Oklahoma state line. Another fire broke out when a vehicle rolled over in a highway crash, officials said.

Southbound U.S. 287 was closed for a time, and by Saturday night a fire of 1,800 to 2,000 acres was declared 85 percent contained.

Another grass fire was reported in Bent County.

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