New management team taking over fight against East Peak Fire burning in Huerfano County

HUERFANO COUNTY, Colo. - A new management team is taking over leadership of the fight against the East Peak Fire burning on 9,186 acres in Huerfano County Friday night. Currently, firefighters have no containment around this fire.

On Thursday afternoon, when the size was estimated at just 1,000 acres, Huerfano County triggered mandatory evacuations east of the town of La Veta to Interstate 25 and south of Walsenburg to the Las Animas County line.

26 people are evacuated from 20 homes and 177 Boy Scouts were evacuated from the Spanish Peaks Boy Scout Ranch.

A shelter for evacuees is set up at John Mall High School in Walsenburg. Large animals are being accepted at the 4-H Barn on the La Veta Fairgrounds.

So far, the fire has destroyed nine buildings and four outbuildings.

The town of Walsenburg is under pre-evacuation status. Pre-evacuation is also in effect from south of the town of Aguilar to the city limits of Trinidad and east to I-25.

That pre-evacuation notice covers over 500 homes.

The wildfire is burning in heavy timber below East Spanish Peak, authorities said. A Red Flag weather warning has been issued and officials expect extreme fire behavior.

There is currently zero containment. The fire continues to make significant runs to the east and southeast, emergency managers said.

Fort Carson firefighters and equipment from the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site Fire Station have been sent to help fight the fire.

There is currently one brush truck, one administrative truck, one utility truck and six personnel supporting on the East Peak Fire.

“Fort Carson is working diligently to support our Southern neighbors in fighting the East Peak Fire, and we remain committed to assisting with the firefighting needs of all our neighboring communities,” said Carl McPherson, Directorate of Emergency Services deputy director.

A community meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at the Walsenburg Community Center at 928 Russell Avenue. A media briefing will be held at 4 p.m.