CUSTER COUNTY - Authorities say a wildfire in southern Colorado has destroyed five homes and hundreds of people remain under evacuation orders.
The Pueblo County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday the fire had scorched more than 25 square miles.
The sheriff's department says the fire started when high winds blew a metal outbuilding into a power line.
In addition to the homes, 13 outbuildings have been destroyed.
Crews were trying to block the flames with fire lines, but authorities said the blaze was still uncontained Tuesday night.
Custer County has declared the fire a local emergency, and the Colorado Office of Emergency Management is trying to secure a verbal declaration of disaster from the governor’s office, which will provide funding and help from the Colorado National Guard.
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There are 114 firefighters battling the Junkins Fire. Additional resources include four single-engine air tankers, two type one helicopters, two National Guard helicopters and three heavy air tankers.
Heavy winds led to heightened fire danger across Colorado Monday. Firefighters say there are no red flag warnings on Tuesday, though wind gusts could reach 20 miles per hour.
The priority is to keep the fire from advancing north, since this is where much of the private property is located.
The fire is currently fueled by a combination of mixed conifers, aspen trees and grass, according to the Junkins Fire Facebook page.
Pueblo County evacuation areas:
-North Creek Road from County Line to Central in Beulah
Pueblo County Pre-Evacuations:
-Red Creek Ranch (areas of Savage Rd. & Vaughn)
Custer County Evacuation areas:
-County Roads 358, 386, 387, 388, 389
-Eagle Springs Ranch Subdivision
-Hwy 165 from Mckenzie Junction (MM1) to Hwy 78 (12 mile rd), including campgrounds and hunting camps
-Hwy 96 McKenzie Junction to CR 390
-Greenwood Rd. (CR 389) and Babcock Hole (CR 388)
-Custer County Pre-evacuation areas:
-CR 390 north to the Fremont County line
These are the evacuation sites listed for Pueblo and Custer counties:
Evacuees- Ag Palace at the Colorado State Fair Grounds (Craver Middle School CLOSED)
Large Animals- Horse arena at Colorado State Fair Grounds, Gate 6
Small Animals- Pueblo Animal Services, 4600 Eagle Ridge Pl., Pueblo
Westcliffe Evacuees- Valley Bible Fellowship, 116 Hermit Ln, Silver Cliff
Wetmore Evacuees- First Southern Baptist Church, 305 E 3rd, Florence
Large and Small animals – Custer County Fairgrounds and Draper Ranch
The U.S. Postal Service says, due to road closures and evacuations, it is unable to make deliveries to 75 addresses in Westcliffe and 30 in Beulah.
Those areas include Junkins Park and the Eagle Springs subdivision, as well as the Northcreek and Northcreek cutoff areas.
The mail for those addresses will be held at the local post offices:
Westcliffe: 4 Bassick Place
Beulah: 8867 Grand Ave.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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