3 Die in Colo. Wildfires; Storm May Aid Firefighters

Blazes have killed 3 people
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 10:44 AM CDT
What's left of a home in Ordway, Colo.   (AP Photo/Pueblo Chieftain, Chris Mclean)
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(Newser) – Firefighters hoped rain and snow would help them stop three Colorado wildfires blazing through thousands of acres of grass, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate and leaving three people dead, the AP reports. Authorities told all 1,200 residents of Ordway to leave yesterday, as wind gusted up to 50 mph, fanning flames that quickly spread across 11 square miles.

By late yesterday, firefighters had contained 50 percent of the blaze, which had damaged at least 20 buildings, four within town limits, and killed two people. Two other fires still raged; one killed a pilot. One resident stood armed with a chainsaw, shovel, and hose, ready to defend his property against the elements.