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A slurry bomber drops a load of retardant on the High Park wildfire near Fort Collins, Colo., on Monday, June 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

The aggressive wildfires burning through drought-parched terrain in Colorado and New Mexico are not yet contained, although both state and federal authorities are significantly ramping up efforts today to combat the growing blazes.

Today an estimated 600 firefighters will tackle the High Park, Colo. fire that has swelled to more than 43,000 acres and claimed the life of a 62-year-old woman. Within a day of being reported, the Colo. blaze had already grown 22 square miles and damaged 18 structures. As the fire edges closer to Fort Collins, authorities are calling for additional U.S. aerial firefighting fleets, insisting the situation is “dire.”

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