Shawnee Peak Fire

The Shawnee Peak fire was burning about 20 acres near Bailey, Colo. Monday evening. Courtesy of Platte Canyon Fire Department.

A wildfire burning west of Bailey in Park County grew to 40 acres Monday night. 

The fire, dubbed the Shawnee Peak Fire, was first reported at about 3:15 p.m. Monday in a remote area of the Lost Creek Wilderness area. By 8 p.m., it was estimated to be 37 acres in size, according to a U.S. Forest Service website.

Five trail heads have been closed as firefighters work to douse the flames. As of Tuesday morning, there were no road closures, according to the U.S. Forest Service.  

The fire is burning about five miles southwest of Bailey in Pike National Forest, the Platte Canyon Fire Department tweeted.

Officials had been wary of a fire breaking out in recent days, as fire danger was high in parts of the state.

“It’s dried out from what we saw earlier in the year," Forest Service Spokeswoman Dawn Sanchez said. "Our fire danger started to increase over the last couple of weeks.”

Multiple engines from the Forest Service and Platte Canyon Fire Department, two helicopters and a Forest Service hotshot crew were responding to the blaze, according to the Forest Service's website

They had difficulty reaching the fire because it is burning in a remote area, Sanchez said. But despite the dryness, she was hopeful that the late afternoon cooling would aid firefighters.

“This is the hotter part of the day, but we are going into an area where, hopefully, as the sun goes down and the temperatures cool, the fire behavior will subside a little bit.”

The Park County Sheriff's Office closed the Ben Tyler, Brookside Payne Creek, North Fork, Long Gulch and Rock Creek trailheads because of the fire.

The fire's cause was unknown.

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@evanochsner

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Evan is a 2019 intern at The Gazette. He is a Colorado Springs native who is currently a student at Northwestern University.

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