BLACK FOREST, Colorado, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The most destructive fire in the U.S. state of Colorado has killed two people and engulfed 400 homes as of Thursday afternoon, local officials said.
The 3-day fire that has torched 15,700 acres, spreading dramatically due to shifting winds and dry conditions. Some 750 fire fighters were rushed to the scene to battle the blaze.
However, fire fighters got an unexpected break from Thursday afternoon rain showers, allowing thousands to return to their homes in Colorado Springs, Colorado's second largest city which now seems spared by the fire
The El Paso County sheriff's office lifted several mandatory evacuation orders throughout the day.
"The rain brought us time and opportunity," said Incident Commander Rich Harvey, who said the fire is now 30 percent contained.
In Canon City, the Royal Gorge fire has destroyed 48 of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park's 52 buildings, Canon City administrator Doug Dotson said. That fire is now 40 percent contained.
The park's steel-framed, 1,035-foot suspension bridge above the Arkansas River is still standing, though the fire damaged some wooden planks.
A smaller, third fire in northern Colorado at the famous Rocky Mountain National Park was also gaining containment at 30 percent.
Fires continued to rage south of Colorado in New Mexico as the Silver Fire, Tres Lagunas and Thompson Ridge fires have torched 50,000 acres in the past two weeks.