Fire crews continue dealing with a fast moving fire that is consuming everything in its path east of I-25 near mile marker 117 just south of Fountain that’s moving quickly to the east-northeast, forcing new mandatory evacuations.
El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said the fire burned at least 10 structures, one patrol car and it heavily damaged a fire engine.
Elder said high winds are making it difficult to fight the fire from the air, and other wildfires in the region have drawn resources from other departments.
Elder said he doesn’t know how many people are inside the evacuation zone, and he said he didn’t know if evacuations could be extended to towns like Ellicott and other small towns in east El Paso County.
Schools in the Hanover School District will be closed Wednesday due to the fire.
The Sheriff’s Office said people who are affected by the 117 fire can call the county joint information center at 719-575-8888.
The county said it is imposing Stage 2 fire restrictions, which means all outdoor burning in the county is prohibited.
The Red Cross is opening an evacuation Center at the Fountain Valley Baptist Church located at 500 Alabama Ave. in Fountain.
People who need places to store animals can take small animals to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs and large animals can be taken to the Norris Penrose Event Center, also in Colorado Springs.
Here’s another video of what I’m seeing at this fire off of I-25 near mm 117. EXTREMELY gusty winds, burning less than a mile away from a home, it’s still smoldering right off the highway. Very dangerous conditions right now @KOAA pic.twitter.com/5MDcdPUn3X
— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) April 17, 2018
Active Fire Map from the Colorado Office of Emergency Management