Evacuations ordered after wildfire erupts near Rocky Mountain National Park

Authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents and businesses in a county near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado after a wildfire broke out in the area, NBC News reported.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, the fire was first reported by officials Tuesday morning. 

The wildfire started near the town of Hermit Park and expanded to cover 75 acres within the next two hours, threatening several structures in its path, according to the department’s statement. 

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Weather conditions heightened the wildfire risk going into Tuesday, per NBC News, as forecasters predicted high winds would affect most of the state. According to the National Weather Service, winds near the wildfire are expected to reach speeds of roughly 25 to 30 mph with low humidity. 

Risks were also elevated because Colorado, along with much of the western U.S., is experiencing warmer-than-normal temperatures and drought conditions, NBC News noted.