1,000-acre wildfire destroys 12 structures, causes evacuation of 308 homes in Custer County

50 mph winds drive fire burning in grass and brush

WETMORE, Colo. - A 1,000-acre wildfire in southern Colorado wildfire destroyed 12 structures and caused authorities to order the evacuation of 308 homes in the small town of Wetmore in Custer County on Tuesday afternoon.

Winds gusting to more than 50 mph quickly spread the fire burning in brush and grass.

Fifteen agencies were fighting the fire, said Ralph Bella of the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire was reported about 1:32 p.m. and authorities have not determined how it started.

The Red Cross has opened a shelter for evacuees at First Southern Baptist Church, 303 E. Third St. in Florence.

Smoke from the fire was billowing into the Pueblo area, causing low visibility, KRDO reported.

The Colorado Emergency Operations Center has been activated for the fire, and a field manager is heading to the scene.

The fire has forced the closure of Highway 96 from Pueblo Reservoir to Wetmore and Highway 67 from Florence to Highway 96. US 50 can be used as a detour, the station reported.

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