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Apr 30, 2011 9:11 PM by Stephanie Collins

Sand Gulch Fire evacuation orders being lifted

WETMORE, Colo. (AP) - Evacuation orders for about 40 homes and cabins are being lifted as cooler temperatures help firefighters get the upper hand on a blaze near Wetmore.

Fire information officer Allyn Herrington says the blaze is 20 percent contained after burning about 550 acres of ponderosa pine, fir and oak brush. He says state Route 96 has been reopened, and people will be allowed to return to their homes after 8 p.m.

Fire officials say lightning sparked the fire on a 9,000-foot ridge near Wetmore. Snow is forecast to fall over the fire area Saturday night.

Herrington says that won't necessarily extinguish the blaze but the wetter conditions will make things easier for firefighters.

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