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Over 15,000 acres burned

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Premium Subscriber
Dec 11, 2002
More Than 15,000 Acres Burn In Southeastern Colo.

(AP) HOLLY, Colo. Still catching his breath Saturday, Marvin Prowers isn't sure how many fires burned the last couple of days around the community of Holly, Colorado, near the Kansas line. At least 15,000 acres of rangeland, unharvested and harvested wheat fields burned.

The Prowers County rural fire chief said it got within a mile of this town of 1,000 and some residents from the southeastern neighborhoods were evacuated. Most of the fires had been contained by Thursday night, though a new 800-acre blaze erupted Friday.

There were no injuries. One abandoned house and a garage burned.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported that Colorado firefighters from Holly, Bristol, Granada, Walsh, Baca County-Springfield, Towner, Kiowa County, Hasty McClave, Las Animas-Bent County and Prowers County responded. They were joined by Kansas firefighters from Hamilton County, Syracuse, Coolidge County, Stanton County and Johnson also responded.

"Some of the these fires we never got to. Farmers used their own little fire rigs to put them out. I know we had at least four fires that got into some thin ground and burned themselves out," he said in a telephone interview. They counted at least 19 separate blazes.

"We had fires moving at 40 mph that we couldn't keep up with. Four units were trapped at one point but were able to get into a corral area and they made a stand," he said. Colorado Highway 89 was closed for five hours.

"A lot of that area was rough country with a lot of ravines and canyons. We couldn't access everything. There are no roads in some of those areas and that really dampened things," Rosencrans told the Chieftain.

Prowers said the area is drier than it was during the disastrous drought of 2002. Some farmers are already selling their livestock because lack of forage.

He said it wasn't known yet whether any livestock were lost.
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