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The Latest: Water scooping planes to help in the fight against Wyoming fire

DURANGO, Colorado. – The Latest on the fires burning in the West (all times are local):

10:30 pm

Water scooping aircraft are joining the battle against a forest fire in Wyoming.

However, their work might get easier in the middle of the forecasts for heavy rain in the coming days.

The fire brigade said Saturday a half-inch (1 cm) of rain could fall on the area in the southeast of Wyoming.

The blaze has forced the evacuation of dozens of homes and summer cabins near the Colorado line.

Firefighters say they’re making progress, but the fire is still not contained after burning more than 23 square miles (60 square kilometers).

Two Bombardier “Super Scooper” aircraft skimming water from a nearby lake to dump on the fire. The Laramie Boomerang says each aircraft can carry for a 1,250 gallon (4,730 liter) of water.

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10:15 pm

Rain is in the forecast for a territory of Colorado hit hard by a forest fire, but officials warn that could also mean flooding.

More than 51 square miles (133 square kilometers) have burned in the vicinity of Durango, and the fire is only 20 percent contained.

The Durango Herald reports authorities have lifted evacuation orders for more than 800 homes and businesses in southwestern Colorado. Hundreds of homes remain evacuated.

Heavy rain could create new problems in the burned area, which is much less vegetation to hold out for the eel.

The National Weather Service says up to an inch (2 centimetres) of rain could fall Saturday. La Plata County Emergency Management Director Butch Knowlton says a small amount of rain can cause severe floods.

Knowlton says flooding could prompt new evacuations.

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Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com

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