PUEBLO, Colo. — A wildfire burning in northwest Pueblo near the Arkansas River forced the evacuation of PAWS for Life and pre-evacuation notices for nearby homes Sunday afternoon.
The fire burned roughly 18 acres and is now 75% contained. Crews will return at 7 a.m.
All evacuation notices have been lifted.
No buildings have been impacted by the fire thanks to quick work by crews.
The fire was spreading within brush and trees on both sides of the Arkansas River near West 11th Street. The Pueblo Police Department has also evacuated City Park and Aberdeen Park.
Pueblo Fire asked everyone to avoid the area to allow crews room to work.
"Some houses were threatened initially. Poor conditions expected to worsen," the department wrote in a tweet.
Smoke from the fire could be seen from as far away as Lake Pueblo.
"My guess is, especially if the wind conditions stay the way they are, we're gonna have substantial personnel out here through the night. It's gonna be a rough scene for a while," Pueblo Fire Department Capt. Woody Percival said.
The staff at the PAWS For Life animal shelter evacuated dozens of animals from their facility at 800 N. Pueblo Blvd. to the Pueblo State Fairgrounds. The team and the animals are now back and safe in their location.
Community members swarmed the shelter, helping transport animals and donating supplies.
"Pueblo is known to be the home of heroes, and they showed it, and we appreciate that," said an emotional volunteer, Kim Alfonso.
PAWS for Life says they do not need donations. Right now, they need time for their animals to decompress from the stress. It will be closed on Monday to let everyone relax.
HELPING THE ANIMALS DURING PUEBLO WILDFIRE: People around Pueblo are urgently loading up animals from the PAWS for Life Animal Shelter. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/o1UkoNHbrv— Carl Winder KOAA (@CWinderKOAA) April 10, 2022
The Red Cross briefly opened an evacuation center open at Goodnight Elementary for anyone impacted by the fire. As of 6:45 p.m., that facility is now closed.
A red flag warning was in effect until 8 p.m., to include Pueblo, the San Luis Valley, Fremont County, Teller County, El Paso County, eastern Huerfano County, central and eastern Las Animas County, Otero County, Kiowa County, Crowley County and Bent County. Humidity was forecast to drop below 10% with winds frequently gusting 30-40 mph and as high as 55 mph.
#BREAKINGNEWS : 🔥 FIRE IN PUEBLO NEAR PUEBLO BLVD. This video is from Austin Groves via Facebook. Area nearby is under pre-evacuation. I just spoke to Paws For Life, they are evacuating animals & asking people to CLEAR THE AREA so they can get cars out @KOAA @PFDPIO pic.twitter.com/XhDorAimjS— Natalie Chuck KOAA (@NatalieChuck) April 10, 2022
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HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN EVACUATION
To be prepared to evacuate:
- Pack a kit that includes everything your family needs to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.
- Don’t forget communication: Print a hard copy list of phone numbers, a battery or solar-powered radio to monitor emergency notifications, and sign up for emergency notifications through PeakAlerts.org to get emergency notices.
- Don’t forget prescription medications, important documents, and take photos of a home inventory for insurance.
- Have your kit ready to grab at a moment’s notice because disasters don’t wait for you to get your stuff.
Keep in mind everyone's kit will be different depending on different needs.
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