Firefighters attack Colorado wildfire from ground, air
NORWOOD, Colorado – Firefighters attacked a southwestern Colorado wildfire from the air and ground on Wednesday as they tried to protect 40 nearby houses.
About 20 houses have been evacuated because of the fire, which has grown to 877 acres in less than 24 hours. It started Tuesday afternoon five miles northwest of Norwood.
Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Erin Curtis said engines were stationed near the evacuated homes to protect them. She also said fire crews were working to keep the fire from spreading to another 20 houses near the fire.
Two area churches are serving as shelters.
The cause of the fire isn’t known. No structures have burned.
About 120 firefighters are fighting the fire, including four hotshot crews. Four heavy air tankers, two single-engine air tankers, two helicopters and more than 16 engines are also being used.
Curtis said crews have been able to build some containment lines along the flank closest to the homes, amounting to about 10 percent of the fire’s perimeter. However, she said crews will be working to hold those lines in the midst of hot, windy weather.
The fire is burning in pinon-juniper and sagebrush. Full containment isn’t expected until Friday.
The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, which coordinates firefighting in five mountain and plains states, said Wednesday that areas west of the Continental Divide in Colorado and Wyoming will dry out and warm up significantly through Saturday.
The agency said eastern portions of the two states are still relatively moist.