Colorado

Mar 24, 2011 3:37 PM by Greg Boyce

Governor issues emergency disaster declaration for fire

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - Gov. John Hickenlooper has issued an emergency disaster declaration for the wildfire burning in the foothills outside Golden.

The order allows the state to spend up to $1.5 million to cover firefighting costs. It also opens the door to asking for federal help, if necessary.  Firefighters hope to contain the 1,500-acre wildfire by the weekend. About 290 homes are in the immediate area but none are considered threatened at this time. However, continued dry weather has authorities worried about what could be a long fire season. Fire incident commander Rowdy Muir says this is the earliest his team has ever been mobilized to fight a fire. Unless Colorado gets more moisture, he said the state could be in for a repeat of the 2002 season.

That's when the Hayman fire, the largest in state history, burned 215 square miles.

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