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Colo. firefighters learning from past

COLORADO SPRINGS — Crews battling the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history say they were better prepared to take on the flames because of lessons learned fighting last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire, a similarly devastating blaze only a few miles away that devoured hundreds of homes and killed two people.

When the thickly wooded rural region north of Colorado Springs known as the Black Forest began to burn this week, authorities swiftly evacuated tens of thousands of people from a swath of land larger than the Denver metropolitan area.

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They immediately began hand-counting destroyed houses to get information out to nervous homeowners. And they rushed federal troops and aircraft into action, cutting the red tape that had grounded those resources a year ago.

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