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Fire managers confident US wildfire won't spread

 Fahy Low, 95, packs her photo albums after she and other evacuees were allowed back to their homes near Boulder, Colo., Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. Fire ...
 A bicyclist rides past a sign thanking firefighters near the fire camp in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confident they'...
 A fire truck drives past tents set up at the fire camp in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confident they've stopped a wil...
 Jim Thomas, leader of the federal incident response team, points to a briefing map while talking to reporters at the fire camp in Boulder, Colo., Sat...
 A tree is seen through a home destroyed by the Fourmile Canyon fire, west of Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confident th...
 Plastic melted by the Fourmile Canyon fire is seen on a burned school bus, west of Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confid...

Colorado Wildfires

Fahy Low, 95, packs her photo albums after she and other evacuees were allowed back to their homes near Boulder, Colo., Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. Fire ...

Colorado Wildfires

A bicyclist rides past a sign thanking firefighters near the fire camp in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confident they'...

Colorado Wildfires

A fire truck drives past tents set up at the fire camp in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confident they've stopped a wil...

Colorado Wildfires

Jim Thomas, leader of the federal incident response team, points to a briefing map while talking to reporters at the fire camp in Boulder, Colo., Sat...

Colorado Wildfires

A tree is seen through a home destroyed by the Fourmile Canyon fire, west of Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confident th...

Colorado Wildfires

Plastic melted by the Fourmile Canyon fire is seen on a burned school bus, west of Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. Fire managers are confid...

Firefighters put out hot spots and built lines around a 10-square-mile (3-square-meter) wildfire in the Colorado foothills, confident that they've been able to stop it from spreading so that some 1,000 evacuees can soon return to their homes _ or what remains of them.
Authorities warned on Saturday hat much of the area is dangerous because of downed power lines and poles, damaged roads and exposed mine shafts. Still, utility workers were restoring electricity to homes where about 2,000 residents have been allowed to return in the rugged foothills above Boulder.
Firefighter Steve Reece spent the day digging out grass and cutting through roots with a tool that's part shovel, part hoe and part ax to snuff out hot spots.
The Fourmile Canyon fire erupted Sept. 6 and quickly destroyed at least 169 homes. It was 50 percent contained Saturday and crews, taking advantage of calmer winds, hoped for full containment by Monday evening. Some 1,000 firefighters from 20 states dug lines and tamped out hot spots.
An infrared flight over the burn area showed several areas of isolated heat but no large pockets of intense heat, as previously seen. Firefighters focused on those areas, especially ones near buildings.
The Boulder County Sheriff's Office planned to issue passes Sunday to residents from the hardest hit areas so they eventually can access their property without impeding firefighters or police. But Cmdr. Rick Brough said it wasn't known when or which roads, some heavily damaged, will be reopened to those areas.
Inside the burn area Saturday, crews worked to snuff out smoldering stumps, using shovels, axes and water carried on backpacks. Fire trucks and water tenders ferried water up the mountains and down the canyons while helicopters dropped water on hot spots.
The fire left some houses standing among blackened forests while homes nearby burned to the ground. Burnt cars littered driveways. At one home, a winding stucco concrete staircase rose about 15 feet (4.5 meters) into open space _ where a house used to be. Beyond, mountains in the distance sprouted 100-acre (40-hectare) patches of burned trees surrounded by green forest and untouched homes.
Xcel Energy, the region's electricity utility, planned to start repairing or installing new poles and lines, said spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo.
It has cost more than $6 million to fight the fire, which was quickly fanned by gusting winds. Winds picked up again later in the week, leading to fears that the fire might spread into the city of Boulder. Officials urged residents to prepare to evacuate, but fire lines held and no evacuations were needed.
Authorities believe the blaze was human-caused. They are looking at whether a vehicle may have crashed into a propane tank.
The Boulder Daily Camera reported the wildfire destroyed at least $76.9 million worth of property, based on a database of buildings confirmed burned and their valuations listed in Boulder County property records.


Updated : 2021-05-17 03:20 GMT+08:00