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Jun 11, 2012 7:38 AM by Kate Richards

CO wildfire update

LAPORTE, Colo. (AP) - Federal firefighters are on their way to help battle a wildfire west of Fort Collins that has forced hundreds of evacuations and destroyed at least 18 structures.

The U.S. Forest Service says a federal team will take over management of the fire on Monday.

The Colorado fire, burning in a mountainous area about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, grew to more than 31 square miles within a day of being reported and has destroyed or damaged 18 structures.

Authorities say it's the worst fire seen in Larimer County in about 25 years. Flames were coming dangerously close to deputies who were telling some residents to evacuate.

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