LOGAN COUNTY, Colo. – Logan County officials have declared a local emergency after a large brush fire destroyed three homes and charred more than 30,000 acres.
The emergency declaration means the incident has been turned over to the State of Colorado for the purpose of assistance and funding.
Crews continued to make progress Tuesday fighting the fire that prompted the evacuation of two schools and the pre-evacuation of several hundred homes Monday afternoon.
The fire was burning on more than 45 square miles and is roughly 80 percent contained.
The fire was called in just after 11:30 a.m. on Monday. A Logan County spokesperson said three homes and one out building were burned.
The Logan County Office of Emergency Management said Tuesday that three of the homes lost were in Logan County, where the fire started Monday, and the other was in Phillips County.
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Logan County spokesman Kyle Mouton said at 4:25 p.m. the fire was estimated at 25,000 acres. By 6:30 p.m. it had grown to 30,000 acres.
As of 7:45 p.m., the fire was approximately 90 percent contained but about two hours later, officials said the fire was just 50 percent contained due to flare-ups. Crews planned to stay on scene to fight the fire throughout the night.
Another county spokesperson, Marilee Johnson, said about 900 pre-evacuation notices were sent out, mostly to people living east of County Road 49.
Fleming and Caliche High Schools were evacuated, Johnson said. The county said that Haxtun School evacuated to Lone Star School.
Interstate 76 is closed between Iliff and Crook, as 12 fire agencies are at the scene to battle the blaze.
An emergency evacuation center has been set up in Sterling at Emmanuel Baptist Church, located at 300 Ball Park Road.
Wind gusts in the area have reached more than 60 miles an hour Monday afternoon. The fire is one of several that have burned across the eastern half of Colorado Monday amid dry weather and high winds.
The wildfire has had a large impact on farmers and other agriculture professionals in the area. Farmers have lost livestock, buildings and fields, impacting their ability to care for their farms.
An immediate need for hay, feed, fencing and money. Donations can be taken to CHS Grainland in Haxtun. To call ahead, contact 970-520-3565.
For those wanting to send cash or a check, donations can be made out to the Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation to the attention of the Disaster Fund.
The address is 9177 E. Mineral Circle, Centennial, CO 80112. Click here for more.