NEW: "We're gaining," U.S. Forest Service incident commander says
NEW: Families may be allowed to return to some neighborhoods Wednesday and Thursday
NEW: The fire has scorched at least 46,600 acres in High Park, Colorado
Thick clouds of smoke are visible from miles around; 1,000 personnel now involved in fight
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Hundreds of residents ordered out of their homes as a massive wildfire advanced on the suburbs of Fort Collins, Colorado, may be allowed to return Wednesday evening, fire officials said.
“We’re gaining,” said Bill Hahnenberg, the U.S. Forest Service’s commander for the team battling the High Park wildfire, which has burned 46,600 acres in northern Colorado. The fire, which has claimed at least one life, is estimated to be 10% contained.
About 100 structures are confirmed lost, but hundreds of families are anxiously waiting to hear whether their homes survived.
“This fire’s behavior is starting to diminish, at least in some places, where we can have trained individuals to go in and determine which structures are lost,” Hahnenberg said during his Wednesday morning media briefing.