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Winds ease, helping crews fight Colorado wildfire (+video)

The Galena wildfire, west of Fort Collins, has burned about 1,000 acres. But weather conditions are improving. The wildfire was only 5 percent contained.

Winds help Colorado wildfire fight
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Calmer weather Saturday is expected to help crews fighting a wildfire that has scorched between 750 and 1,000 acres west of Fort Collins.

Nick Christensen, spokesman for the Larimer County Sheriff's Department, says strong winds that caused havoc Friday had died down by Saturday morning, and many of the residents who were forced to leave the area were allowed to return home. No injuries have been reported and no structures have been damaged.

Christensen says 579 phone lines received automated calls ordering evacuations, but he did not have an exact count on how many people were forced from their homes.

The fire, which is 5 percent contained, is burning west of Horsetooth Reservoir, near the scene of a large wildfire last summer that burned 259 homes and killed one person. Authorities say the latest fire was started accidentally.

The Coloradan reports that because this wildfire is so early in the year - well before the typical wildfire season - the federal government doesn't have private fire-fighting aircraft under contract yet.

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