Evacuations ordered at Junkins Fire in Custer County near Wetmore

CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. -- Evacuations have been ordered because of a large wildfire burning in Southern Colorado.

The Junkins Fire started early Monday morning, west of Wetmore and east of Westcliffe. The fire has burned an estimated 13,300 acres so far.

There are 129 homes scattered in the evacuation area, according to the Custer County Office of Emergency Management.

The evacuation area is Rosita Road East and the Junkins park area extending east of Hwy 165 from Mackenzie Junction to MM 6, according to the Custer County Sheriff's Office.

The evacuation area also includes the North Creek area from the County Line to North Creek Cutoff.

A pre-evacuation warning has been issued for all of the Beulah Valley.

Evacuation shelters have been set up at Valley Bible in Westcliffe and at the Colorado State Fair Ag Palace in Pueblo. Large animals can be taken to the Saddle Club at the Westcliffe Fairgrounds.

Wetmore is about 20 miles south of Canon City and 30 miles west of Pueblo.

Highway 96 between Westcliffe and Wetmore is closed, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

Highway 65 is closed from McKenzie Junction to Ophir Creek.

There's no word yet what caused the fire.

The National Weather Service is predicting winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts as high as 45 mph today in Westcliffe.

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