COSTILLA COUNTY, Colorado (CBS4) – The size of a forest fire in Costilla County exploded overnight – from 4,000 acres on Thursday to nearly 24,000 acres on Friday – and continues to burn out of control.
The Spring Fire broke out about five miles east of Fort Garland on Wednesday night and has now reached Huerfano County, heading east to Highway 160 and La Veta.
On Thursday, officials said there were 80 to 100 firefighters fighting the fire , along with fixed-wing aircraft, which are fire-retardant and helicopters that make drops of water. The fire crews had to be pulled out because of the danger of advancing flames at one point.
Dry conditions, rough terrain and strong winds gave the fire the upper hand.
On Friday, several South Metro Fire Rescue crews packed up and went to support the existing crews. They are one of many departments across the state that help prevent massive fires. The Denver Fire Department has sent seven firefighters to help.
A Type II response team was expected on Friday to provide more manpower and expertise.
Rocky Mountain Team Black took command of the spring fire on Friday at 6am. 19659006] "This Incident Command team provides an organizational structure that is well-suited to managing large forest fires, and today firefighters are putting protective structures and assets at risk while providing firefighters and public safety."
The fire led to evacuations at Forbes Park between Fort Garland and La Veta. About 2,500 people were evacuated from the area.
Authorities say that some structures have been burned by wildfire but will not confirm whether these structures are houses, outbuildings or shops.
Evacuees were told that they can stay at a Red Roofing in the community center of Fort Garland and Blanca, 17591 E. Hwy 160 in Blanca.
Another animal shelter has been opened at the Huerfano Community Center, 928 Russel Street in Walsenburg.
Another red flag day was predicted Friday. Temperatures in the mid to high 80s are expected to be at a relative humidity of 6-10%. The wind is expected to come from the south and southwest with gusts of up to 35 ° C. Cumulus buildup is expected to start around 10:00 am, which can produce gusty and bumpy winds with little or no humidity. Since today's predictions are similar to those of Thursday, an irregular fire behavior is expected, similar to yesterday.
Another day with red flags was forecasted for Friday.
Temperatures were expected in the mid to high 80s with a relative humidity of 6-10 percent.
The wind was expected to drop out of the south and southwest with gusts up to 35. Cumulus build-up is likely to start around 10 am, which can produce gusty and jumpy winds with little to no humidity
With Friday's predictions that are much like Thursdays, unpredictable fire behavior was expected, officials said.
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