Kevin Charles

Colorado Wildfires Rage as Governor Suspends Controlled Burns

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Chris Schneider/Getty Images(JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo.) — The Colorado wildfires that have killed at least two people and destroyed dozens of homes might not be fully contained until Monday, officials say.

About 500 firefighters fighting the blaze in the mountainous area 25 miles outside of Denver where the wildfires began Monday have managed to gain only 15 percent containment of an 8.5-miles-long fire, Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink said Wednesday.

The fire has swept over 4,500 acres and killed two people, identified Tuesday as Sam Lucas, 77, and Linda Lucas, 76. The husband and wife were found dead at their home, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

About 900 homes had been ordered to evacuate and as many as 6,500 homes were on standby orders for evacuation as of Wednesday, according to officials.  

While the origins of the fire remain officially under investigation, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Wednesday took the preventative measure of suspending prescribed burns used to mitigate fire danger in the state. The Colorado State Forest Service said the blaze, which so far has taken 4,100 gallons of fire retardant and 49,000 gallons of water to try to contain, was likely started by a controlled burn it conducted last week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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