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Evacuees starting to go home at Junkins Fire; Fire now 3% contained

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 16:53:56-04

CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. -- Some evacuation orders were lifted at the Junkins Fire on Thursday.

Residents living in the Simonson Trail Subdivision and North Creek from Central to the Red Mountain Youth Camp were allowed to return home. Those areas are near the town of Beulah.

A Public Fire Information meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in the West Gym at the Custer County Consolidated School to update residents.

The Junkins Fire has burned 16,832 acres 11 miles east of Westcliffe. The fire is listed as just three percent contained. 262 fire personnel are fighting the fire.

Seven additional 20-person hand crews are en route to the Junkins Fire and will be deployed along the perimeter, officials said.

"Fire crews constructed containment line along the northeastern perimeter of the fire from the point of origin at Junkins Park, west to County Road 165," fire officials said. "Heavy Air Tankers and Single Engine Air Tankers were used to drop fire retardant along the northeast perimeter and along the eastern edge of fire inside the 2005 Mason Fire burn area."

Fire officials said helicopters are dropping water on areas along the northeastern perimeter and along the North Creek Road.

Evacuations & closures

Residents of Eagle Springs Ranch Subdivisions and homes along Greenwood Road (CR 389) and Babcock Hole (CR 388) remain under evacuation order.

Residents on North Creek Road from the Red Mountain Youth Camp to the County Line remain on evacuation status.

Road closures that remain in place along Hwy 96 from McKenzie Junction to County Road 390, Hwy 165 & 96 (McKenzie Junction) to Hwy 78, county roads 358, 386, 387, 388, 389, and Hwy 165 from McKenzie Junction to Hwy 78.

Fire cause

The fire started Monday at 3:40 a.m. It was caused by a power line downed in heavy winds.

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