Wildfires force evacuations

in heat-stricken Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Bone-dry conditions and scorching temperatures hampered firefighters Thursday as they battled two wildfires in Colorado — one that has burned structures in the southern part of the state and another that has forced evacuations near Rocky Mountain National Park.

About 350 homes have been evacuated east of Fort Garland in southern Colorado since a wildfire erupted there Wednesday. The blaze has blackened about 6 square miles (15 square kilometers) and has destroyed some structures, but fire managers are not sure how many.

“It’s like a fog of smoke right there by our house,” resident James Matthews told KKTV. “If the fire does get there, it’s going to be very bad because there’s propane tanks everywhere.”

Many of the evacuations were ordered in Forbes Park, a housing development started by multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes in the 1970s and which is now owned by its homeowners’ association.

Mother: Girl at center of debate

over brain death dies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A girl at the center of the medical and religious debate over brain death has died after surgery in New Jersey, her mother said Thursday.

Nailah Winkfield said doctors declared her daughter Jahi McMath dead on June 22 from excessive bleeding and liver failure after an operation to treat an intestinal issue.

McMath was declared dead in December 2013 when she was 13 after suffering irreversible brain damage during routine surgery in California to remove her tonsils and a coroner signed a death certificate. Several specialists concurred after neurological tests.

Winkfield refused to accept the conclusion. She said her Christian beliefs compelled her to fight for continued care for her daughter, who she said showed signs of life through toe wriggles and finger movements.

Winkfield flew her daughter to New Jersey, where she has remained on life support and received care in the state that accommodates religions that don’t recognize brain death.

“Jahi wasn’t brain dead or any kind of dead,” Winkfield said. “She was a girl with a brain injury and she deserved to be cared for like any other child who had a brain injury.”