Colorado Forest Fire Rages Towards State's Fourth-Largest City

Third-largest blaze in state's history now just miles from Fort Collins, Colo.


A wildfire in northern Colorado continues to rage, having damaged nearly 100 structures and killed one person.

Six hundred firefighters, nearly 30 aircraft, and 40 fire engines are fighting the blaze, which is only ten percent contained and has forced thousands of residents from their homes.

[See photos of the erratic Western wildfires]

The fire began when lightning struck a forested area near the Wyoming border, engulfing more than 43,000 acres since Friday.

The fire, which has burned mostly in rural forests until now, is 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colo. A mountain campus west of Colorado State University's main campus in Fort Collins has already been evacuated. The so-called "High Park Fire" is now ranked as the third-largest forest fire on record in the state.

The fire has killed one person. The remains of Linda Steadman, 62, were found in the ashes of her cabin at the edge of the national forest located west of Fort Collins.

The fire is the larger of two burning in the southwest United States. A smaller blaze in central New Mexico has scorched 37,000 acres since igniting on June 4.

Seth Cline is a reporter at US News and World Report. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter.