Fire forces evacuation of 8,500 houses near Denver

GOLDEN — A second major wildfire started today in an outlying Denver suburb that forced the evacuation of about 8,500 houses because of flames being fanned by winds of 30 mph and stronger, authorities said.

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 this afternoon in a wooded area and is being driven by the winds. The densely populated area is mostly flat plains with some hills and wooded areas.

Smoke from the blaze was 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.

The other fire has charred a little more than 2 square miles in rugged canyons just outside Golden, about 15 miles west of downtown Denver. Crews are still trying to contain that fire.

Authorities said 289 homes are in the immediate area but none was considered to be immediately threatened by the fire. No homes have been destroyed and evacuation orders have been lifted.


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