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Colorado wildfire forces Interstate 70 to close

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- Huge smoke clouds from a large wildfire forced Colorado State Patrol officers to close a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, police said.

"You can't see anything because of the smoke," said an unidentified police dispatcher. "People are being evacuated," she said, adding that residents of "a couple of dozen" homes near the fire were being ordered to get to safer ground.

Although smoke was the main reason authorities shut down part of the major east-west highway, one police dispatcher said the fire did jump the highway at one point.

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The fire disrupted phone lines in the area, including the Glenwood Fire Department's phone connections, the dispatcher said.

The size of the fire -- which started Saturday -- was not immediately known.

"We're ready," said Valley View Hospital spokeswoman Becky Young, who said that so far, no one has been admitted to the hospital with fire-related injuries.

Glenwood Springs is in the western part of the state at the intersection of I-70 and route 82, about 40 miles north of Aspen.


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