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Grass fire near Rye 100% contained, a reminder of year-round fire danger

Posted at 11:58 AM, Nov 28, 2022

RYE — The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office says a grass fire near Rye is 100% contained as of 4:06 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Rye fire will continue to monitor the scene throughout the evening. But asks if flames are seen outside the area of containment please call 911.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

Crews said that the fire grew 10 acres throughout the night however the fire remains 85% contained as of Tuesday. Four agencies remain working on the fire, and crews have said that the weather is helping with control efforts.

Multiple fire agencies responded to the Old San Isabel fire north of Highway 165 after it was first reported around 11 a.m. The fire has burned 127 acres of grass, brush, and trees according to the sheriff's office.

Evacuations were ordered for Mount Baldy subdivision residents which were lifted as of 3:54 pm. Evacuation orders were lifted for residents on Table Mountain Road early Monday evening at 5 pm. However, residents of Table Mountain Road are on pre-evacuation notice until further notice.

Crews will remain on the scene throughout the night to monitor any flare-ups. One outbuilding has burned down but no injuries have been reported.

Pueblo County remained under a red flag warning until 7 p.m. Monday night due to high winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures. A vast change of weather is expected on Tuesday, with snow predicted in parts of Pueblo. The Old San Isabel fire is a reminder that fire danger can still be present during this time of year.

Steven Bennett, Fire Chief of Rye Fire Protection District, said the high winds on Monday made it difficult to navigate the fire.

"It has been very difficult fighting with the wind because the winds are coming from multiple directions. It's not just going in one direction," he said. "With the winds being anywhere from 25 to 45 miles an hour that made it hard to catch up to that fire."

Agencies responding to the Old San Isabel fire include Rye, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Emergency Services Bureau, Beulah, Pueblo City, Pueblo West, Pueblo Rural, West Park, and Pueblo County Road and Bridges.

The Red Cross is setting up a reception center for evacuees at the Colorado City Recreation Center, 5000 Cuerno Verde. As of 5 pm Monday, this center is now closed.

Students from Rye High School and Rye Elementary School were evacuated and sent to Craver Middle School, according to a spokesperson for District 70.

Red Flag Warnings have been in effect along I-25 and east across the New Mexico border. Wind gusts and low humidity give way to grass fires like this, making them spread quickly.

Read the full forecast from Meteorologist Sam Schreier here.

Editors Note: When crews first responded and reported the fire size, they determined it to be 200 acres. Later in the day, this number was updated to 128 acres at 2:44 pm, Monday afternoon. Officials updated the fire size to 135 acres with 60% containment at 3:15 pm.
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