Colorado Fires Claim 1st Victim

Fire now 3rd-largest in Colorado history
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2012 8:41 AM CDT
A Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane firefighting helicopter drops water on a hotspot burning close to homes near Horsetooth Reservoir June 11, 2012 near Laporte, Colorado.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The northern Colorado wildfires that have been raging through the state have claimed a 62-year-old woman as their first victim, reports the Denver Post. Linda Steadman lived alone and apparently missed two evacuation phone notices on Saturday. A firefighter and a deputy stopped by Steadman's home, but were blocked by a locked gate and raging flames. "We have a burned-out structure," said a local sheriff. "The individual would have most likely been within the structure."

By 8pm yesterday, the fire had grown to 41,140 acres, with none of it contained, making it the third-largest wildfire in Colorado history. At least 100 structures had been involved. With warm and windy conditions continuing, emergency crews added 200 more firefighters to bring the total number to 600. "I've been looking at those trees all my life," said one 67-year-old resident. "I guess I'm here for the end. I thought the forest would outlive me." (Read more wildfires stories.)

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