EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Mandatory evacuations were issued due to a wildfire burning south of Colorado Springs near Fountain but have been lifted.
The areas under evacuation are Donner Pass View, Sugar Foot Point, Dude Ranch Point, High Plans View, Gold Dust Trail, Vigilante View and other homes in that general area, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.
UPDATE (5:12 p.m.): Evacuations have been lifted but EPCSO said the area that was affected is rural and only about 20 properties.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sergeant Jason Garrett said the fire was started by people shooting at a range that sparked the blaze. The suspects have been identified but are not in custody and EPCSO is investigating the incident to determine if charges will be brought up.
Garrett said it was a red flag warning day but there was no official fire or shooting ban in place. Winds gusted up to 35 – 40 mph and conditions are dry, which allowed the fire to spread quickly.
Conditions are expected to be the same Sunday and Garrett is asking residents in the area to be smart and not have an open fire or go shooting in a dry area.
Lieutenant Shane Mitchell said the range is a lawful public shooting range but there is no oversight. He said whether the property is public or private is being determined by the court.
UPDATE (3:57 p.m.): The Sweetwater Fire has grown to 300 acres and the Colorado Springs Fire Department has sent 17 firefighters and four apparatus to help with the blaze.
UPDATE (3:18 p.m.): The Sweetwater fire is now burning 80 acres and remains 0% contained. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said 90 personnel from 17 area and state fire departments are fighting this fire.
EPCSO said the evacuations are in Hanover near the Pikes Peak International Raceway. The Hanover Fire Department is the lead agency handling the Sweetwater Fire and it’s 0% contained.
FOX31’s Rogelio Mares is heading to the area and will provide more information from the scene.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information is received.
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