EL PASO COUNTY – Today marks the one year anniversary of the 117 Fire that burned nearly 43,000 acres and destroyed 17 homes in the Hanover area along the El Paso / Pueblo County line.
Fire officials said the blaze was likely caused by a vehicle dragging a muffler as it drove northbound along I-25, throwing sparks which ignited grass along the shoulder.
The 117 Fire forced nearly 1,000 residents to evacuate from their homes.
Besides the 17 homes that were destroyed, the fire ruined numerous other structures including barns, sheds, a patrol car and heavily damaged a fire engine.
The owner of the Triple S Ranch even drove through active flames to rescue upwards of 60 horses in danger. No people or animals were injured during the rescue.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the fire was officially 100% contained and all evacuations were lifted a few days after the fire started.
The total market value of the damaged or destroyed property is $1,309,844 according to the assessor’s report.
“Some people–they have nothing,” said longtime volunteer Terry Siewiyumptewa, with tears in her eyes.
CLICK HERE to read News5’s past coverage of the 117 Fire.