Fast-moving Colorado Springs wildfire prompts evacuations
Firefighters knocked down the fire near The Farm subdivision but evacuations remain in effect
COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. – Residents in a Colorado Springs community were told to evacuate Friday immediately due to a wildfire fueled by gusting winds.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department reports the wildfire was first spotted near Interguest and Interstate 25.
According to Colorado Springs Fire Department, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for Ridgeline Drive within The Farm subdivision.
Firefighters were able to knock down the fire and reported no structures were lost. Road closures and evacuations will remain in effect for the near future.
Police are asking people to avoid the area of Interquest and Voyager, north to Bridle Oaks and west to I-25.
The National Weather Service office in Pueblo said winds from the south are blowing at 20 to 35 mph with gusts over 60 mph.
DAMAGING WINDS FUEL 'POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC' FIRE WEATHER FRIDAY FROM NEW MEXICO TO COLORADO
"These winds will persist through the afternoon, along with relative humidity at bone dry levels near 5 percent," the NWS Pueblo tweeted.
With the critical fire risk, Colorado Springs Fire Chief Randy Royal made the decision to call on extra units for Friday, a decision that paid off when the fire started.
Four brush fire patrol units immediately responded and about 100 firefighters helped knock down the blaze that started near the Great Wolf Lodge and was pushed by winds toward The Farm subdivision.
Royal said the fire threat is not over.
"The winds are still pumping, we still have at least 6 to 8 hours of critical time," Royal said of the critical fire weather.
Satellite imagery shows additional wildfires popping up in southeast Colorado, according to the NWS.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has hoisted an "extremely critical" risk of fire weather – the highest risk on its fire weather outlook scale – across east-central New Mexico and northward into the High Plains of eastern Colorado.
"There is high confidence that a widespread extreme and potentially catastrophic fire weather event will occur today," the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico, wrote in a Fire Weather Warning issued Friday morning. "Strong to damaging winds will impact all of northern and central New Mexico while the very dry and unstable conditions persist."
Multiple wildfires are burning in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.