Colorado wildfire declared a disaster, but some evacuees allowed to go back home

Michelle Mellenthin and Chris Huizenga watch firefighting efforts from a Jeep on June 11, 2012, near Laporte, Colo.

(CBS News) FORT COLLINS Colo. - Colorado's governor has declared a disaster in the monster wildfire east of Fort Collins.

The blaze has killed one person and destroyed more than 43,000 acres since Saturday.

The wind-driven High Park fire has been highly aggressive.

The disaster declaration frees up $20 million from the state's disaster relief fund, but the cost of fighting the fire has already hit $3 million.

There have been some new evacuation orders issued, but some residents have been allowed back to their homes, which are now out of danger.

Firefighters have been pouring in. Some 600 camped out at one staging area, and the number was to swell to 800 by the weekend.

They need a hand from Mother Nature in the form of cool weather and calm winds.

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And across the Fort Collins area, there was a helping hand of another kind: donations at the local Ft Collins Salvation Army.

Jennifer Oliver, a resident of Larimer County, went shopping so she could help evacuees.

"If you don't have ... basic necessities, it really could put a damper on your mentality. ... You don't want to be camping (chuckle) for days and days without these things."

She also brought her daughters for a lesson in helping others - three-year-old Adrienne and five year old Madilynn, who's learned a very grown up thing or two about fires.

She says the situation is "not good. Because it will burn down people and maybe it could kill somebody."

Officials say it'll probably be fall before these fires are completely contained.

To see Barry Petersen's report, click on the video in the player above.