Firefighters get help from weather in Colo. |

Firefighters get help from weather in Colo.

CANON CITY – A new crew of firefighters arrived to help battle a 700-acre wildfire Wednesday as investigators continued to probe the source of the blaze.

The fire was human-caused, but the source is still under investigation, said Beth Hermanson, spokeswoman for the multiagency team in charge.

Firefighters were expected to get some help from the weather. No red flag warnings, which signal high fire risk, were issued in southern Colorado for the first time in a week.

Todd Pechota, the incident commander for the Rocky Mountain Type 2 team now managing the Parkdale Canyon fire, said the fire is in good shape thanks to the aggressive initial attack on the blaze, which broke out Monday.

The fire has burned at least one home, damaged five others and forced the evacuation of homes and businesses. It’s also shut down rafting and a tourist railroad in the scenic Royal Gorge.

The fire also knocked out power to about 70 homes, and Black Hills Energy has been working to get service restored.

Evacuation orders were lifted Wednesday afternoon for some homes and businesses in the area. Authorities said the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge would reopen to rafters Thursday.

After the fires started, the Fremont County sheriff’s office notified 177 phone customers – business and residential – to evacuate.

Farther south, another fire is burning on about 4,900 acres in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the San Isabel National Forest. No structures are threatened and the park has remained open since the fire began June 6 with a lightning strike.

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