Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Officials lower size estimate of Eightmile fire southwest of Colorado Springs

13 photos photo - A slurry bomber makes a drop on the Eight Mile fire Friday, June 27, 2014. The fire, which has grown to 700 acres, is burning north of Canon City, Colo. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette + caption
A slurry bomber makes a drop on the Eight Mile fire Friday, June 27, 2014. The fire, which has grown to 700 acres, is burning north of Canon City, Colo. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette
By Matt Steiner Updated: June 28, 2014 at 10:14 am 0

9 a.m. SATURDAY UPDATE:

The size estimate of the Eightmile fire in northeast Fremont County has been reduced to 500 acres after infrared mapping, officials said Saturday.

Officials also announced that a public meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday at Canon City High School, 1313 College Ave., where updates will be provided.

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A wildfire in northeast Fremont County grew from 60 acres to 500 acres Friday, prompting pre-evacuation notices for 16 homes in the Red Rocks Subdivision, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

The homes are located southwest of the fire.

According to officials, additional resources have been called in to help with the Eightmile fire, which is progressing to the northeast on public lands managed by Bureau of Land Management.

Firefighters are hiking to access the fire, which is burning in "rugged, steep terrain," said Misty DeSalvo, a Forest service spokeswoman.

"It's pretty fuel-loaded, actually," she added.

Smoke from the fire is visible from Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Canon City.

The fire, which sparked Monday, has closed a roughly 8-mile stretch of Phantom Canyon Road between mile markers 4.5 and 12.

The fire is thought to have been ignited by lightning.

"We know it's going to get larger based on the forecast," Forest Service spokesman Gregg Goodland said Friday morning.

High winds, hot temperatures and dry conditions will continue to play a role in the fire's growth throughout the weekend, officials reported.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo reported winds gusts of up to 25 mph Friday in Canon City, which is about 6 1/2 miles southwest of the fire.

"It's been just windy enough to help fires spread and grow," said Patrick Cioffi with the Weather Service.

"It's been pretty dry with low relative humidity," he said, adding that conditions over the weekend are not expected to change.

While conditions will be less than ideal for battling the blaze, he said, winds are expected to calm down, and are forecasted to continue blowing from the southwest throughout the weekend.

There are 72 firefighters battling the fire and four 20-person Hotshot crews have been requested. The Rocky Mountain Type-2 Incident Management Team B has also been requested, will assume command of the fire on Saturday morning, according to the Forest Service officials.

A helicopter was working the area Friday, "checking the growth of the fire," Goodland said.

Three helicopters, three single-engine air tankers, and two heavy air tankers are committed to the fire, officials reported.

The Fountain Fire Department sent one wildland fire truck and three firefighters to help fight the blaze shortly after noon Friday. Fountain Chief Darin Anstine said the mutual aid was sent after a request from the state.

Fire contained near Larkspur

The Storm wildfire, which burned three miles west of Larkspur in the Pike National Forest, was reported to be fully contained at 6:30 a.m. Friday, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Firefighters remained on scene throughout the day.

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