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Evacuations Lifted In Crystal Fire

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Mark Bowers took this photo April 3 of the Crystal Fire from Fort Collins.

Mark Bowers took this photo April 3 of the Crystal Fire from Fort Collins.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Cooler, wetter weather is helping crews fighting the Crystal Fire, a day after winds caused a flare-up that prompted the evacuation of 20 houses as a precaution.

Authorities say residents are being allowed back to their homes Wednesday in the Larimer County foothills because of the improved conditions.

Firefighters were continuing to build fire lines around the blaze, which has burned 5 square miles and destroyed about 15 homes.

So far the blaze — a larger fire and nearby smaller one — is about 15 percent contained.

Gov. John Hickenlooper planned to visit the fire’s command post Wednesday afternoon.

It’s still dry in southern Colorado. Fire warnings are in place across the state’s southeastern plains and in lower elevations of the mountains in the south.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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