Pre-evacuation orders rescinded as 168-acre fire continues to burn near the Air Force Academy

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Posted at 2:25 PM, Feb 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 11:52:01-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Pre-evacuation orders near a wildfire burning not far from the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County have been rescinded as firefighters continue to battle the blaze, officials said in an update late Monday afternoon.

Multiple agencies were still assisting the Air Force Academy Fire & Emergency Services in battling the flames, which broke out around 1 p.m. Sunday, amid gusty winds.

The fire, dubbed the West Monument Creek Fire, is burning in the southwest area of the academy’s property, north of the Pine Housing area. Pine Drive was closed from West Monument Creek Road to Academy Drive as of Sunday evening.

The fire had grown to 168 acres as of Monday morning and Air Force Academy officials said it was about 50% contained by nightfall.

"While some hot spots remain, the fire is no longer spreading, and the forecasted precipitation for Feb. 27 bodes well for firefighting operations," a spokesman said in a news release late Monday afternoon.

No structures were threatened.

Two helicopters Fort Carson conducted water dumps on the fire Monday morning in collaboration with the United States Forest Service and the Colorado Springs Fire Department, the Air Force Academy said in a Facebook post.

A pre-evacuation notice was issued Sunday for residents in Pine Valley and Douglass Valley, which are both military family housing complexes near the academy. The advisory was rescinded by 4 p.m Monday.

Academy District 20 posted a bulletin to its website Sunday night saying Douglass Valley Elementary School would be closed Monday due to the fire. Air Academy High School will have an eLearning Day. It's not clear if the school closures would remain through Tuesday.

The Air Force Academy will only be open to Department of Defense ID cardholders and contractors Monday, the school posted on the social media site X.

All patient appointments at the main medical treatment facility were canceled Monday and staff will work to reschedule appointments. But academy operations continue as scheduled, the

The child development centers are also closed.

A Red Flag Warning is in place until 6 p.m. Monday along the Front Range for dry and windy conditions.

The Academy’s Emergency Family Assistance Center (EFAC) has been established to provide support family members, military and government civilians seeking assistance. The EFAC can be reached at 719-333-3444, or The center is available to provide information and referral for military families affected by the fire.

Families who have evacuated on their own need to update their family info in the Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (AFPAAS), USAFA personnel said Monday. For mental health support individuals can call the Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) at 719-360-2870 or 719-895-0170.

Wildfire near Air Force Academy prompts pre-evacuation, school closure Monday

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