Governor Bill Owens makes a special trip to southern Colorado to get a first–hand look at the Mato Vega fire which has already burned nearly 9–thousand acres. The Governor arrived in Fort Garland a little after eight this morning to assess the damages and sign an execution order which will provide 3–million dollars in state funds to fight the blaze.
The fire was first reported on Sunday and has already cost more than 300–thousand dollars to fight. Owens also put a fire ban into effect for for all state lands. The ban includes all fireworks and open burning in state parks and forests. More than 300 firefighters from five different states are working hard to contain the fire which is spreading to the North and East. The fire has forced about 270 homes in a 20–mile radius to be evacuated. The evacuations include the Spring Creek and Wagon Creek subdivisions. An evacuation shelter has been set up at Blanca Ft. Garland Community Center. The fire is about 30 percent contained.