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Spring Fire grows to 14,424 acres, Highway 160 closed at La Veta - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Spring Fire grows to 14,424 acres, Highway 160 closed at La Veta Pass

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COSTILLA COUNTY -

The Spring Fire has exploded in size to more than 14,000 acres according to the Colorado Division of Fire and Prevention Control.

It has burned an estimated 14,424 acres, it is still 0 percent contained.

No injuries or deaths have been reported at this time.

With the fire's growth, the pre-evacuation zone has expanded into Huerfano County. Late Thursday night. The entire towns of La Veta and Cuchara are on pre-evacuation notices as are the Paradise Acres, Navajo Ranch subdivisions and parts of the Majors Ranch and Pinon Hills areas.

This is in addition to pre-evacuation notices sent out earlier Thursday night on the west side of the fire, closer to the community of Fort Garland.

Authorities are telling people living north and east of Trinchera Ranch Road and south of Highway 160 to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.

Colorado State Patrol has closed Highway 160 in both directions. The closure on the east side of the pass begins at Highway 12. On the west side of the pass, it begins at Highway 159 in Fort Garland.

Troopers told News 5 the fire has jumped the highway. It's now burning in Huerfano County.

The San Isabel Electric Association also said it is experiencing a power outage in the La Veta area due to damaged lines from the fire. The company is asking affected customers to call 800-279-7432 if your power is out.

There are currently two evacuation centers open on either side of La Veta Pass. 

  • Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center located at 17591 E. Hwy 160 in Blanca, CO
  • Huerfano Community Center located at 928 Russel St, Walsenburg, CO

The fire is burning between Fort Garland and La Veta.

Phil Daniels, Deputy Chief for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, says the fire burned through the Forbes Park subdivision and is now moving toward Wagon Creek and nearby railroad tracks. Insurance agent Dylan R. Brown shared surveillance video of a fire consuming the home and car of a client in Forbes Park.

Fire crews on the ground are struggling to battle the flames while keeping themselves safe. Air tankers and helicopters are on scene assisting in the firefight, but the winds are making the effort difficult and dangerous.

Among the dozens of evacuees who attended a community meeting at the Blanca Fort Garland Community Center voiced concerns about what information authorities were willing to provide.

People living in the area can also get updates on efforts from the official San Luis Valley emergency page.

Neighbors told officials that they've heard their homes were lost, but they want confirmation, which cannot be given according to fire bosses.

While trying to calm everyone officials reminded neighbors that there were "a lot of saves" in the area. 

A big concern of many people at the meeting is how they'll be notified of what's going on due to the lack of internet service in the area.

News 5 has crews on the ground in Costilla County. We'll bring you updates online, on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and on-air with KOAA News 5.

Wednesday night,  the Costilla Board of County Commissioners made a disaster declaration due to the fast-moving fire.

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