High winds ground helicopters at Colorado wildfire

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Strong winds have grounded helicopters fighting a 5-square-mile Colorado wildfire that has destroyed about 15 houses.

Fire managers stopped flying two choppers Tuesday afternoon that were dropping water and another copter doing reconnaissance.

Winds in the foothills west of Fort Collins have been gusting to around 35 mph.

Residents were warned to prepare to leave should the fire spread, but no new evacuations have been ordered.

Warm, windy weather has raised the fire danger in the Front Range foothills, northeastern plains as well as southern Colorado.

Larimer County, where the wildfire is burning, has enacted a ban on open fires and fireworks.

The blaze exploded overnight Saturday when winds reached 50 mph and higher. More than 300 homes were temporarily evacuated.