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Woman fleeing Colo. wildfire crashes in Idaho, ignites new blaze

That 2,000-acre wildfire that was set off this week by a car accident on I-84 south of Boise? Turns out the driver was a 19-year-old woman fleeing the destructive Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, who had loaded her most-valued possessions into her car - including her mother's wedding dress - and headed off for her father's house in Oregon. A mechanical failure caused the young woman to lose control while passing another vehicle, the ISP said, and the Subaru crashed and burned, igniting dry grass along the roadway. The woman, Krista McCann, told KTVB-TV she lost everything in the car in the resulting blaze except her purse; she escaped without injury. "This is everything I own now," she told the TV station, holding open her purse. Click below for a full report from the Associated Press and KTVB.

Woman fleeing wildfire crashes, ignites new blaze

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — A Colorado woman fleeing a deadly wildfire crashed on the way to her father's home in Oregon, sparking a new blaze in Idaho.

Krista McCann tells KTVB-TV ( ) that she loaded her most-valued possessions in her car in Colorado Springs, Colo., and fled the 29-square-mile Waldo Canyon fire.

The trip was also supposed to be a surprise for her father. Among the belongings she brought from Colorado was her mother's wedding dress.

"I was afraid that something might happen, or the wind might change in Colorado and my house would be in danger again," McCann said.

The 19-year-old said she lost control of her Subaru while trying to pass another car on U.S. Interstate 84 in Idaho between Boise and Mountain Home.

"I just couldn't go straight anymore and I ended up clipping the car next to me," she said. "The adrenaline was going through me for a while, but after that started to fade it hit me pretty hard.

"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," McCann said.

Idaho State Police said a mechanical failure caused McCann to lose control of the vehicle.

The crash ignited a wildfire near the interstate that burned about 2,000 acres. By Friday morning, authorities said the fire was fully contained.

McCann escaped without injury but lost everything in her car except her purse.

"This is everything I own now," McCann told the television station, holding open her purse.

The fire McCann fled in Colorado killed two people and destroyed nearly 350 homes, making it the most destructive in Colorado history.

"This is a chance to start completely over," she said. "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."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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