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Woman crashes while fleeing Colorado wildfire, starts Idaho blaze

A woman fleeing Colorado's most devastating wildfire accidentally started a massive blaze in Idaho, where flames consumed all her possessions except the contents of her purse, NBC station KTVB of Boise reported.

Krista McCann, 19, was en route to her father’s Oregon home after evacuating for the massive Waldo Canyon fire raging near her home in Colorado Springs.

She had loaded up her car with all the things she had hoped to save from the Colorado wildfires, including her mom's wedding dress.


Due to a mechanical problem, she said, she lost control of her Subaru on Interstate 84, between Boise and Mountain Home, Idaho.

"I just couldn't go straight anymore and I ended up clipping the car next to me," she said, describing the fiery accident.

After clipping a Jeep she was trying to pass, her car ran off the highway. Her car began burning, sparking a fast-moving wildfire that eventually burned 2,000 acres.

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She grabbed her purse. Everything else she owned went up in flames.

"This is everything I own now," McCann said as she showed KTVB the few possessions from inside her purse.

"The adrenaline was going through me for a while, but after that started to fade it hit me pretty hard," McCann said.

"I know I got out and I saw that the field was on fire and at that point I was just ... I was pretty devastated. I didn't want to do anything like that," she said.

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McCann said she is glad no one was hurt. Now she is looking to the future.

The Bureau of Land Management declared the crash-sparked Idaho wildfire controlled Wednesday night.

The wind-stoked 18,247-acre Waldo Canyon fire reduced 346 homes to ash and was the most destructive on record in Colorado. The blaze, burning mostly in the Pike National Fores, was blamed for the deaths of an elderly couple who perished inside their home. At one point more than 30,000 people within the city and surrounding area were under mandatory evacuation orders. Thieves looted 37 homes and 28 vehicles belonging to evacuees. Federal fire managers pronounced that wildfire 100 percent contained Tuesday nearly three weeks after it started.

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"This is a chance to start completely over," McCann told KTVB. "I have nothing. So I'll start with a new wardrobe and a new car, and a new state of mind. And I'll just move forward."

McCann wants to move to a new city and create something beautiful, she said. She says has auto insurance, and is working things out with the Jeep’s driver.

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This article includes reporting by NBC station KTVB of Boise, Idaho, Reuters and The Associated Press.

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