Federal firefighters will take over the fire fight west of Fort Collins, Colo., on Monday. New Mexico battles the largest wildfire in state history. Wildfires in Wyoming forced the evacuation of as many as 1,000 campers at Guernsey State Park.
An eerie orange dusk shrouded part of northern Colorado, while heavy smoke choked a small community in southern New Mexico — as both regions battled wildfires spreading rapidly through mountainous forest land that have forced hundreds of evacuations and destroyed dozens of structures.
The Colorado fire, burning in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, grew to more than 31 square miles within about a day of being reported and has destroyed or damaged 18 structures.
Federal firefighters are on their way to help battle the fire west of Fort Collins. The U.S. Forest Service says a federal team will take over management of the fire on Monday.
The fire on Sunday sent up heavy smoke, obscuring the sun in the middle of the day. The smell of smoke drifted into the Denver area and smoke spread as far away as central Nebraska, western Kansas and Texas.
Strong winds, meanwhile, grounded aircraft fighting a 40-square-mile wildfire near the mountain community of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. Crews were working to build a fire line around the blaze, which started Friday and has damaged or destroyed 36 structures.
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