Colo. Continues Wildfire Battle; 50 Pct. Contained

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A wildfire that has charred nearly 92 square miles in northern Colorado since it began 10 days ago is now 50 percent contained, authorities said.

Firefighters faced dangerous conditions across much of the Rocky Mountain region Monday, as they toiled in hot, dry weather to battle the blaze, which has now destroyed at least 189 homes - the most in the state's history.

Eight more homes were found Monday to have burned in the fire near Fort Collins.

Flames forced thousands of residents to evacuate. One woman died in her burned-out home last week.

Jeff Corum, whose home burned on the first day of the fire, described whirling, unpredictable winds that drove the blaze.

"That's what it's been doing, back and forth," Corum said. "It's just like a washing machine, and it's just rolling up there, and that's the way the mountains are."

Corum grabbed some clothing and two weapons when he fled, but not his credit cards. He's spent a few nights in a motel, some at a Red Cross evacuation center and some in his truck.

On Monday, Rocky Mountain National Park enacted a ban on all campfires because of the threat of wildfires in Colorado.

The park normally allows campfires in designated fire rings, but the ban will prohibit those, as well as charcoal grilling, for the first time since September 2010.

Authorities also are trying to enforce a ban on using private fireworks in Colorado.

Investigators say a lightning strike started the fire on June 9.

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