Evacuations remain as Colorado wildfire burns more than 40,000 acres

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office confirmed 40,892 acres have burned in the 117 Fire, and there is no containment at this time, KRDO-TV reported Wednesday.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference Wednesday morning that there are no known human injuries, but two first responders have been treated for smoke inhalation and should be fine.

Some people have returned home, but evacuations remain in place. The Sheriff’s Office encourages people to remain evacuated. If the fire ends up blowing back north, there could be more evacuations.

The fire being called the 117 Fire, began burning Tuesday afternoon along Interstate 25 between Fountain and Pueblo. The cause of the fire is unknown. Over 200 firefighters from around the state have been working to put out the fire. So far, roughly 10 structures have been destroyed. Several minor injuries have been reported as well.

Sheriff Bill Elder said there was another fire on the eastern edge of the area that stretched into Lincoln and parts of Crowley County, and ended up combining the two fires. Elder said they called in help from other states.

Elder said the fire burned quickly, with 50-foot flames covering 35 miles within a few hours.

“I had one deputy say he was going about 35 mph down the road, and the flames were going faster than he was,” Elder said.

With less wind pushing the fire, and the addition of the aerial assets, Elder says he hopes to get some containment accomplished today, particularly on the southern flank of the fire.

According to Elder, Fort Carson has canceled all training today and diverted operations to help fight the fire. The winds will allow for an air attack today, so Fort Carson will have five helicopters up over the fire.