At least 1 home destroyed in wildfire near Salida

(Photo: Deana Schwery)

SALIDA, Colo. — A wildfire has destroyed at least one home and charred more than 9 square miles in central Colorado.

More than 450 firefighters and several aircraft have been assigned to the fire, which is burning in rough terrain south of Salida. The fire, which is 5% contained, has forced the evacuation of about 130 homes.

Firefighters dealt with near-critical fire conditions on Friday, and red flag warnings have been issued for Saturday.

Unseasonably warm and dry conditions have fueled the fire, which has been burning in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area since Sept. 8. It had been allowed to burn beetle-killed trees until high winds this week spread flames north toward Salida.

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