Wildfires Force Evacuations Across Colorado

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

Strong winds fueld wildfires across the state Tuesday. Blazes in three counties caused road closures, forced evacuations, and damaged structures.

CARBONDALE

Garfield County officials say a fire broke out just after 12:00pm Tuesday near the town of Carbondale. As a result, 150 homes in the area had to be evacuated and sections ofHighway 82 were completely shut down for three hours.

As of 10:00pm Tuesday night, crews said the fire was 25 percent contained, but that 50 mile an hour winds were making it difficult to extinguish.

Crews from the Palisade, Grand Junction, Clifton, and Lower Valley Fire Departments were sent to Carbondale to assist.

One lane in each direction has reopened on Highway 82.

The Red Cross has set up shelters at Roaring Fork High School and the El Jebel Community Center for Carbondale residents who were evacuated.

Officials say that one person was hurt in the fires, but that their injuries are not life threatening.

ORDWAY

In Ordway, a 6,500 acre fire has forced the evacuation of the entire town which has about 1600 residents.

Crowley County officials declared a state of emergency in the area. Just before 10:00pm Tuesday, Governor Bill Ritter also declared a state of emergency for the county.

According to reports from the NBC affiliate in Colorado Springs, at least two homes and one business may have been burned.

The fire has shut down parts of Highway 96 and Highway 71.

The Associated Press is reporting that two people were killed in the fires.

FORT CARSON

Officials say a wildfire in Fort Carson started after embers from a brush fire got out of control. Crews there are battling a fire that has grown to 1,000 acres.

Officials say no structures are being threatened, but that flames have shut down parts of Highway 115, and gates 1 and 5 at Fort Carson.

A pilot who way trying to fight the fires was killed after his plane crashed.


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