SE Colorado wildfire grows to 17 square miles |

SE Colorado wildfire grows to 17 square miles

FORT LYON, Colo. (AP) – Firefighters battling a large wildfire in southeast Colorado are hoping controlled burns to reduce fuels will help rein in the blaze that has grown to about 17 square miles.

The fire near Las Animas and about 200 miles southeast of Denver was roughly 80 percent contained Tuesday night. Five homes were evacuated as a precaution as crews started fires to reduce vegetation and direct the flames away from buildings.

Bent County sheriff’s acting spokesman Chris Sorensen says nearly 70 firefighters from area agencies are trying to contain the blaze.

More than 50 homes were temporarily evacuated Monday night when strong winds caused the fire to flare up. The blaze was a quarter-mile from the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility, but the prison wasn’t evacuated.

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