BENT COUNTY — Doctor RJ Nelson, a Rancher and Veterinarian in La Junta, can see ash for miles on his property.
Thousands of acres are now covered in burn scars in Bent County, after two wildfires broke out on Tuesday.
"There were a lot of different people here from many different communities, fire departments helping battle the fire. Without their help I don't know how much would have eventually burned up.”
We’re getting an up-close look at how badly a ranch burned during the Bent’s Fort #fire last night. The owner thinks about 600 acres burned, but is lucky they didn’t lose any cattle. 2 years ago in another fire, they weren’t as fortunate. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/qKBb8pFewS— Natalie Chuck KOAA (@NatalieChuck) April 14, 2022
By Wednesday night, the Fort Lyon fire had burned 2,909 acres and was 50% contained. The Bent’s Fort fire was 25% and had burned roughly 1,800 acres.
Nelson’s ranch was evacuated. His friends and families came to the property to move cattle away from the flames.
He says most of his cattle are safe.
The natural disaster comes right in the middle of calving season. Nelson has about 250 pairs of heifers and their babies.
"We let a couple cows go back down into the river bottom and they came out of there with their babies, so sometimes I think the good lord has a hand in all this to."
This fire had a better outcome for Nelson than another one roughly two years ago, where they lost about five cattle.
"We had quite a few cows that had burn marks on them.”
A lot of the fences on Nelson’s property were replaced two years ago after the larger fire and must be replaced again.
In Fort Lyon two homes were burned, one vacant and one belonging to a volunteer firefighter.
You can donate to Jason Garcia, whose family lost their home, by following the instructions on the flyer below.
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