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Carson Midway Fire evacuees able to return home

Posted: 10:59 AM, Mar 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-17 12:59:56-04

Multiple agencies are working to put out the remaining 20 percent of the Carson Midway fire that destroyed three homes. 

El Paso County Officials updated around 5:00 p.m. that the fire is 80 percent contained with the remaining 20 percent made up of hazardous materials. 

Approximately 60 firefighters from Fort Carson, El Paso and Pueblo counties were continuing to fight the blaze Saturday morning. According to Fort Carson, as of 10:30 a.m. about 3,300 acres had burned. 

El Paso and Pueblo county assessment teams conducted damage assessments of the impacted areas and said that evacuees are able to return home around 6:00 p.m. except for three additional homes.

Residents will need a valid Colorado ID with an address in the evacuation zone, or a government issued ID to return home. 

Officials say the hazardous materials are a significant number of tires burning which will take a while to put out, as some tires could burn as long as a week. The chemicals in the smoke can be hazardous to people, so residents of three homes in close proximity to the remaining fire are not being allowed back at this time.

Three homes were destroyed in the fire, as well as a number of outbuildings and cars. 

The fire started on Fort Carson property as infantry and air assets were conducting pre-deployment live fire exercises on a training range, according to Garrison Commander Colonel Fitch. The fire started out very small before being driven by high winds and plenty of dry grasses which provided fuel.

The full cause and origin is still under investigation.

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There are no reports of injuries as a result of the fire.

Evacuee Michael Kose described it as a hectic and terrifying afternoon. "It’s like a war zone. Trucks, sheriff, fire department, everyone flying up and down the road back and forth. Helicopters, everything." Kose said.

He was able to recover his important documents and belongings and left his home in time.

For Deanna Ealey, there were moments of panic when she got separated from her husband when she was at work when the fire began.

"I ask that cop over there if he’ll let me back and he said no. He said they’re evacuating everybody. I haven’t seen my husband yet and I’m starting to freak out."

For Ealey is was an afternoon of stress and thinking of the worst, until she was reunited with her husband at an evacuation center.

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The Red Cross evacuation center, located at Fountain Valley Baptist Church is still available for evacuees who are in need of food and a warm, safe place to stay until they can return home. Licensed counselors, along with minor medical care and spiritual care personnel are also available for those in need.  The evacuation center is located at 500 Alabama Avenue. 

Red Cross case workers will also be available Sunday for additional assistance. 

The Humane Society is also helping to rescue animals in the path of the fire. A large animal shelter has been set up at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo.

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