Evacuations were ordered as a fire in Fort Carson, Colorado grew on Friday. This is the third fire in the area since March 4, Fox 31 reported. The fire began at Fort Carson’s range 155, but grew and is now burning south of Fountain. Wind gusts in the area of up to 44 mph helped spread the fire. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office announced that some structures have been lost due to the Midway Ranches fire, but it’s not yet known how many or where. Helicopters are performing water drops in an attempt to slow the fire’s spread, KOAA reported, and crews from Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Black Forest, Hanover, Falcon, and the Cimarron Hills Fire Departments are working to contain the blaze. According to the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department as of 3 p.m. local time, 1,234 acres were burning and 0 percent was contained, KKTV reported. As of 6:40 p.m. Eastern, the fire had grown to 2,032 acres, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff. No structures in Pueblo County were damaged.
According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the original evacuation area was expanded. The north boundary is now Donner Pass View, the south boundary is at County Line Road, the east boundary is at I25, and the west boundary is at Fort Carson Route 1. Here’s a map of the evacuation area, provided by the sheriff’s office. If you are evacuating, officials advise that all residents take their pets with them. About 100 Pueblo County residents have been evacuated, not including those in El Paso County. Residents are urged to stay away from the area.
The Red Cross set up an evacuation site at the Fountain Valley Baptist Church on 500 Alabama Avenue, according to the Pueblo County Sheriff. An animal shelter has also been set up at the Colorado State Fairgrounds for Midway Ranch residents who have been evacuated. Pueblo Animal Services on 4600 Eagleridge Blvd. is also accepting small animals from residents who had to evacuate. The Hanover School District cancelled all afternoon activities and afternoon preschool, and announced that parents can pick up their children at the high school, KOAA reported.
This next one was taken by the Fox 21 crew:
The fire began around 10 a.m., KKTV reported, and started on base about a mile northwest of Pueblo County on Range 155. High wind gusts helped spread the fire. Here are some videos of the fire that have been shared online:
Due to the fire, an air quality advisory has been extended for NE Pueblo City and SE El Paso City until 8 p.m. on Friday. Here are more videos of the fire, as shared on YouTube:
To stay updated on the latest evacuation orders, follow EPCSheriff on Twitter and CSFD PIO and choose to receive mobile notifications. You’ll be notified every time the account makes a new tweet. Both accounts state on Twitter: “In times of crisis, this account helps share critical information with Twitter Alerts.”