An air tanker prepares to drop its load of retardant on one of Arizona's… (Rob Schumacher / Arizona…)
At least 21 uncontained large fires are burning in the West, with Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado especially hard-hit, authorities said Thursday.
The fires, spread by hot, dry weather and strong winds in some areas, are causing evacuations and have destroyed property. In Colorado, two deaths have been reported.
Colorado reported seven fires, including the new Lime Gulch blaze, which has burned through 500 acres about 30 miles east of Denver. About 100 people have been evacuated there.
At least four wildfires remain active in Arizona, with the largest having burned almost 11,000 acres in Coronado National Forest.
Firefighters also fought to contain the Doce fire in Prescott National Forest in Arizona, where 7,500 acres have burned. About 460 homes have been evacuated.
Eleven fires were burning in New Mexico. A wildfire in Lincoln National Forest has burned about 44,000 acres.
Planes carrying retardant were being used on the Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs. The fire, which started June 11, has destroyed 509 structures and killed two people, making it the deadliest fire in state history. The Black Forest fire is 95% contained.
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