WESTCLIFFE, Colo. — The Latest on wildfires burning in southern and central Colorado (all times local):
Firefighters battling a 21-square-mile southern Colorado wildfire are focusing on protecting structures before they take the offensive against the blaze on Tuesday.
Fire crews from throughout the state are headed to the fire, which erupted Monday in Custer County about 30 miles west of Pueblo. Residents evacuated 130 homes, and more evacuations are possible.
At least 80 firefighters are on the scene, and three air tankers have been deployed. The cause of the fire, which has destroyed at least one structure, isn’t known.
To the north, firefighters have contained more than 50 percent of a 14-acre wildfire in Pike National Forest about 10 miles northwest of Colorado Springs. No structures were damaged.
Oscar Martinez, a district ranger with the U.S. Forest Service, says he hopes crews can fully contain the fire on Tuesday.
An elite Type I interagency task force has been summoned to take over efforts to battle a 21-square-mile wildfire west of Pueblo.
The fire was reported early Monday and quickly spread in gusty winds that grounded water-dropping aircraft. The cause is unknown.
El Paso County sheriff’s spokeswoman Gail Perez says at least one structure has been destroyed.
Firefighters from the state, Custer and Pueblo counties are fighting the blaze, which has been dubbed the Junkins Fire. Thirteen engines are on the scene.
Residents of 130 homes were evacuated in the area about 25 miles west-southwest of Pueblo.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department has told 37 residents west of Colorado Springs to evacuate their homes because of a 10-acre wildfire burning near Rampart Reservoir.
The fire was reported Monday afternoon in Pike National Forest. Its cause is unknown.
A water-dropping helicopter is assisting county and Pike National Forest firefighters in battling the blaze.
Rampart Reservoir is about 10 miles northwest of Colorado Springs.
The residents of 130 homes have been ordered to evacuate because of a wildfire burning in gusty winds near the southern Colorado town of Westcliffe.
The Colorado emergency management division says people who live in 140 other homes have also been warned to be ready to evacuate if needed.
People in nearby Beulah, which was evacuated by another wildfire earlier this month, are among those who have been warned to be ready to leave.
The Custer County Emergency Management Office says the Junkins Fire was reported at around 3:30 a.m. Monday. One of the state’s firefighting planes has been brought in to estimate its size and provide information to firefighters.
The state health department expects the fire to put out moderate to heavy smoke over the region.
Residents are being evacuated by a wildfire near the southern Colorado town of Westcliffe.
The Custer County Sheriff’s Office says the fire has also shut down state Highway 96 Monday near the town at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Strong winds are forecast across the state and a red flag warning has been issued for the eastern half of Colorado.