National Guard helps patrol wildfire-damaged areas
"The weather is making progress in a bad direction. Hotter, drier, with a chance of thunderstorms. ... Winds will shift from one direction to another," said Incident Commander Rich Harvey.
The 26-square-mile Waldo Canyon fire was 45 percent contained by Saturday afternoon. It was one of many burning across the West, including eight in Utah and a fast-growing blaze in Montana that forced residents in several small communities to leave.
About 1,200 personnel and six helicopters were fighting the Waldo Canyon fire, and authorities said they were confident they'd built good fire lines in many areas to stop flames from spreading.
"Crews made progress all around the fire,"' said Harvey, who was cautiously optimistic. "The fire potential is still very, very high. It's extreme and explosive."
Two bodies were found in the ruins of one house, one of almost 350 destroyed in this city 60 miles south of Denver. Police Chief Pete Carey said Saturday afternoon the approximately 10 people who had been unaccounted for had been located.
More than 150 National Guard soldiers and airmen helped Colorado Springs police staff roadblocks and patrol streets. Carey said Saturday the presence of military personnel will allow his department to resume normal police work.
About 10,000 people remain evacuated, down from more than 30,000 at the fire's peak.
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