DENVER – A fire north of Peyton in El Paso County forced multiple people to evacuate their homes with their horses and dogs and put some others under pre-evacuation notice as it grew to 21 acres by late Friday afternoon.
The Birdseye Fire started as a structure fire and moved into wildland shortly after, according Colorado Springs Fire Department spokesman Michael Smaldino, who provided an update at around 3:42 p.m.
An evacuation order was issued for residents two miles around Birdseye View at around 1:32 p.m. as the fire ignited near the 19000 block of Birdseye View, according to an official with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. An additional mile around Birdseye View was placed on a pre-evacuation notice.
Smaldino said they were watching the weather to see if more evacuations are needed.
"In all reality, anybody that is in this area - even if you're just outside of that 3-mile radius - it would be a good idea to at least get your stuff together, you might not be in pre-evacuation yet but if we do have a wind shift or a significant wind event that happens, that could change in a moment's notice," Smaldino said.
Between 10-15 structures are currently threatened by the blaze, an official with the sheriff's office said, adding structure protection was being used to prevent the flames from damaging them. Smaldino also said a firefighter suffered a minor injury but that he was still working to put out the blaze.
Residents are being told to evacuate south and to call 911 only if they’re in immediate danger. The Calhan Fairgrounds is open and available for all animals evacuated that are in need of shelter, and the Patriot Learning Center at 11990 Swingline Road is open for all evacuated persons.
Several agencies are on scene assisting the El Paso County Sheriff's Office battle the blaze.
The fire remained at 0% containment as of 5 p.m.
Crews were pulled back and cleared for safety just before 7 p.m., but will continue monitoring the fire overnight. Crews will resume work at 7 a.m.