DENVER — Several wildfires are burning across Colorado amid dry and windy conditions.
Most of the fires are small and have been fully or partially contained. However, drought conditions persist across the state, which greatly increases the likelihood of larger fires breaking out as the season continues, state officials said on Friday.
An indication of just how dry conditions are, two recent wildfires that prompted evacuations were caused by sparks. A drone battery igniting after crashing caused Wednesday's 52-acre Table Mountain Fire near Boulder, and sparks from illegal welding activity caused the Silver Charm Fire near Colorado Springs on Friday.
From 2012 through 2022, Colorado had an average of 5,507 fires and 221,661 acres burned per year, according to the Colorado Department of Public Safety. New legislation introduced in the Colorado legislature would provide $15 million to add to the state’s aviation resources available for wildfire response.
Most of the wildfires burning across Colorado were sparked Friday amid what the National Weather Service called “extremely critical” fire weather. One home was lost after a wildfire was sparked Saturday south of Highway 34 east of the town of Yuma.
Dry and windy conditions will continue Sunday.
Below is the latest on the wildfires burning in Colorado.
A wildfire burning in an old burn scar in Custer County has forced the closure of some roads Friday afternoon. The fire, which is burning on County Road 387 in Wetmore, is estimated to be 5 acres in size with heavy smoke, according to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.
El Paso County
Residents near Peyton in eastern El Paso County were able to return home nearly two hours after they were told to leave when a wildfire ignited in the area Friday afternoon. No other information about the fire, including its size, containment or what caused it, was immediately available from fire officials at the scene.
Evacuation orders were lifted for the Farm subdivision of Colorado Springs more than three hours after a "heavy fire in heavy fuels" started near I-25 and Interquest Parkway Friday afternoon.
The Silver Charm Fire was reported just after 12:30 p.m. behind The Great Wolf Lodge on Federal Drive. Shortly after, the fire department issued and immediate evacuation for the Farm subdivision.
As of Saturday afternoon, the fire was reported to be at 75% containment, but officials said it will most likely be fully contained tonight. No structures were lost. The fire was started following a welding accident, according to our sister station in Colorado Springs, KOAA-TV.
A wildfire broke out in Kiowa County Friday afternoon, forcing mandatory evacuations in Chivington and Brandon. At around 8 p.m. residents were able to return to their homes and the highway was back open. According to the Kiowa County Sheriff they did not know how contained the fire was, and crews were still monitoring the area.
The 4.5 acre fire Cache Creek Fire burning in U.S. Forest Service lane off of Leadville Road 1.5 miles west of Granite is 50% contained. The fire was first reported Thursday afternoon. Snow over the weekend, lower temperatures and a higher relative humidity are contributing to good firefighting conditions, officials said Sunday.
A wildfire burning outside of La Junta in Otero County is now 100% contained, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. The fire, which has been named the Bluff Fire, was first reported around 12:10 p.m. Friday burning on the Comanche Ranger District about 13 miles south of La Junta.
A wildfire burning 16 miles northwest of Lake George has charred 13 acres but was 100% contained as of Sunday evening. The Allen Creek Fire was first reported at around 4:52 p.m. Friday on South Park Road in Park County and was reported to be about 5 acres in size.
Firefighters said they will continue to improve fire lines and extinguish hot spots. A Type 1 helicopter was assigned to the fire and assist firefighting efforts if the winds allow flight activity.
Mandatory evacuations were lifted for a subdivision south of Florissant after a wildfire was reported just after 5 p.m. Friday. The fire started in the area of Bullion Circle. The fire is currently at 5 acres and 25% contained, and power is down in the area. Teller County Sheriff says it appears to have started when a tree fell on a power line.
One home was lost after a wildfire was sparked Saturday south of Highway 34 east of the town of Yuma. The fire grew to 3,000 - 4,000 acres before it was fully contained. Firefighters thanked the community for their help in containing the blaze. The cause is under investigation.