N.M., Colo., Fires Continue to Burn, Claim Victim

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More firefighters and aircraft are being called in Tuesday to help fight raging wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado.

The massive fires, fueled by high winds and drought-like conditions, are testing state resources and federal crews.

The huge blazes, which have forced thousands of people from their homes, have now claimed the first victim. Colorado officials confirmed Linda Steadman, who had been reported missing, died in the fire.

Steadman, 62, had received two emergency notifications to evacuate her home after the wildfire began.

"We managed to get up there today, used some fire engines to cool off the remnants of that building," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said. "Ultimately, they found what's believed to be human remains."

The Colorado wildfire grew to 41,000 acres overnight. So far, more than 100 structures have been destroyed. Now all residents can do is wait to see if their home is next.

"Knowing that... we may not have much at the end of this, is pretty daunting," Colorado resident Sharon Docherty said.

"It's a really difficult thing to just sit there and wonder if you have to start your life over again," evacuee Lou Deangelis said.

Flames are moving at about 400 feet per minute, and the smoke is now spreading to Wyoming and Nebraska.

Colorado lawmakers informed the U.S. Forest Service that the need for firefighting aircraft was "dire."

In New Mexico, 435 square miles of forest have burned, with less than half of the fire contained. Nearly 1,000 firefighters are battling that blaze.

At least 18 massive wildfires are burning in nine states. In some areas, National Guard troops have been called in to help fight the fires.

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