While weather has been impacting those working the Weston Pass fire near Fairplay, firefighters have been able to increase containment to 32 percent as of Friday night.
The fire, burning about 9 miles from Fairplay, is 12,902 acres in size.
Severe weather, including thunderstorms and lightning, moved into the area on Friday, impacting firefighting efforts.
According to a release, those active in fighting the fire had to stay in their vehicles until the storm passed and they could engage the fire again. They were still able to increase containment to 32 percent on Friday.
Saturday morning is expected to be mostly sunny with winds from 5-10 mph. Clouds and thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon.
On Thursday, the fire jumped the containment line.
While Guy Blom, a public information officer trainee with the Rocky Mountain Incident Management team, called this development “frustrating,” the change in the winds is helpful for the structures threatened by the fire.
“The priority had been the structures at CORA and along 285 here,” Blom said.
As the winds push flames west toward the Buffalo Wilderness, the threat of them moving east toward the Campground of the Rockies is diminished.
If dealing with changing winds and growing flames wasn’t enough, a funnel cloud touched down near the fire on Thursday afternoon.
Pam Wilson, a public information officer with the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team, said firefighters were forced off the line “due to the funnel cloud, some hail and erratic winds.”
Mandatory evacuations remain in place for all of the homes between the fire and County Road 22. That road, as well as Forest Service Road 442 and Forest Service Road 158, are closed.
U.S. Highway 285 is closed between Highway 9 (Fairplay) and Highway 24 (Antero Junction). Residents with proof of residency will be allowed access to County Roads 18, 22 and 24.
Fire crews confirmed Sunday afternoon that one home at 695 Lynch Creek Court was damaged by the fire. One outbuilding at 854 Rich Creek Court was also damaged.
The fire was first reported about 11:30 a.m. Thursday and is believed to have been caused by lightning.