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Southern Colorado wildfire destroys 23 homes

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — A wildfire has burned nearly two dozen homes and scorched about 64 square miles in southern Colorado. Hundreds of people are evacuated from their homes.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said the 117 Fire burned 23 homes, seven of them vacant, after it was sparked near Interstate 25 between Colorado Springs and Pueblo on Tuesday. No deaths have been reported.

Growth Wednesday was on the south side of the fire.

The fire is 25 percent contained.

Elder said he suspects it was sparked by something like a tossed cigarette or a spark from a chain hanging from a passing truck.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a high temperature of 60 degrees on Thursday, with windy conditions. Rain and snow are forecast for the area Friday.

The fire started Tuesday afternoon in El Paso County near mile marker 117 on Interstate 25 between Fountain and Pueblo. It later spread into Pueblo County.

Elder said Wednesday firefighters protected a lot of property despite not having air support because of winds gusting up to 60 mph Tuesday.

Wednesday, winds were not as strong and air drops were made on the fire.

Many roads in the area remain closed and several minor injuries have been reported.

About 200 firefighters are working the blaze.

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