NewsCovering Colorado


Multiple wildfires burn near Las Animas, two homes destroyed

Fort Lyon house destroyed
Bent’s Fort Fire
fort lyon fire mayo.PNG
Las animas bent county fire map
Posted at 4:10 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 19:48:35-04

BENT COUNTY — The Bent's Fort Fire has burned an estimated 1,656 acres and is considered 25 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon.

The fire is impacting local ranchers who have to rebuild part of their properties after flames swept through the area.

Rancher RJ Nelson tells News5 about 600 to 700 acres of his cattle ranch burned on Tuesday night. His family, friends, and firefighters had to get roughly 250 pairs of heifers and their calves to safety.

Just 2 years ago, Nelson had a fire burn a large section of his property in the exact same area, unfortunately at the loss of several head of cattle.

On Tuesday, the fire forced the evacuation of about 125 people to a shelter in Las Animas.

The separate Fort Lyon Fire burned down two homes, but only one of them was occupied. Officials say this fire Fort Lyon is 2,909 acres, but is at 50% contained. The historical site has not been damaged.

Another large fire was also burning near Cheraw earlier Tuesday but was contained before the night ended. In total, there were at least five fires burning in Bent and Otero County.

15 different agencies have responded to the fires. Crews are still on scene battling the fires.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife closed the 19,471-acre John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area near Fort Lyon due to the wildfire.

This is a developing story.

Las animas bent county fire map



Want to sign up for emergency alerts in El Paso and Teller counties? To sign up for the Peak Alerts system visit or for more information call (719) 785-1900. If you have questions you can also email


To be prepared to evacuate:

  1. Pack a kit that includes everything your family needs to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
  2. Don’t forget communication: Print a hard copy list of phone numbers, a battery or solar-powered radio to monitor emergency notifications, and sign up for emergency notifications through to get emergency notices.
  3. Don’t forget prescription medications, important documents, and take photos of a home inventory for insurance.
  4. Have your kit ready to grab at a moment’s notice because disasters don’t wait for you to get your stuff.

Keep in mind everyone's kit will be different depending on different needs. Learn more about what should be in your kit with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office 'Ready, Set, Go' program.

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Emergency response experts say more people need to sign up for alert notifications

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