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Crews respond to 'massive' wildfire in southeastern Colorado

The Bent's Fort Fire east of La Junta had burned 1,500 acres and was 95% contained Sunday afternoon.
Credit: Colorado State Patrol

OTERO COUNTY, Colo. — Crews worked through the night to contain a wildfire in southeastern Colorado that had burned an estimated 1,500 acres as of Sunday afternoon.

Multiple fire and law enforcement agencies responded with ground and air crews when the Bent's Fort Fire started Saturday afternoon near Highway 194, east of La Junta. The fire quickly grew to about 1,200 acres.

Overnight, crews battled the fire, which was about 15 to 20 percent contained late Saturday, according to the Otero County Sheriff's Office (OCSO). A winter storm that moved in late Saturday was "making the battle a challenge," said a tweet from OCSO.

By Sunday morning, containment was estimated at 75 percent, and crews were working on hot spots and on the south edge of the fire, where it had jumped the river that divides Bent and Otero counties, OCSO said.

At 2 p.m., containment had increased to 95 percent.

On Saturday, the Bent County Office of Emergency Management informed residents who live between the Bent/Otero county line and along County Road 9 that they needed to evacuate toward Las Animas. That order was lifted late that night.

Highway 194 and Highway 50 in Otero County were closed Saturday while crews fought the brush fire, but both reopened early Sunday morning.

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