Wetmore Fire burns 1,742 acres, 12 homes

50 mph winds drive fire burning in grass and brush

WETMORE, Colo. - The Wetmore Fire has burned 1,742 acres and destroyed 12 homes, along with several other smaller structures like barns and garages, according to fire officials. There is no containment.

The fire is burning in grass, Ponderosa pine and oak brush, about one mile west of Wetmore.  Wetmore is about 20 miles southeast of Canon City and 50 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.

About 386 people have been evacuated, according to Custer County Sheriff Fred Jobe. The evacuations in place are for Greenwood, Wetmore, and east of Wetmore into Pueblo County. Reverse 911 was being used to contact families. However, because the fire has damaged utility lines, house-to-house notification was also needed.

Elective evacuations were performed along Siloam Rd in western Pueblo County Tuesday night as the strong winds pushed the fire eastward.

Evacuees can go to the Baptist Church at 303 E. 3rd Street in Florence and the First Church of the Nazarene at 84 Stanford in Pueblo.

There are about 130 firefighters from more than 16 agencies working the fire.

The fire was reported about 1:32 p.m. on Tuesday. Sheriff Jobe told 7NEWS Wednesday morning that crews were waiting for daybreak to continue fighting the fire. Overnight, many of the fire crews were sent to protect structures.

Aviation resources have been ordered but may not be able to fly because of the gusty winds predicted to continue Wednesday.

Jobe said the source of the fire is believed to be an electrical problem, possibly the wind caused a short in a power line.