Update: Spring Fire In Southern Colorado Expands To 24,000 Acres

Jun 28, 2018

Update 5:39 p.m., Friday 6/29/18: In Huerfano County, mandatory evacuations are in place for residents in Tres Valles, Paradise Acres, Raspberry Mountain, Pine Haven, and the Cuchara Valley. At this time, La Veta is not part of the mandatory evacuation but remains on pre-evacuation notice. 

Current evacuation and pre-evacuation notices for Huerfano County as of 5:45 p.m., Friday, 6/29/18. The purple area is pre-evac; the darker pink color is the new mandatory evacuation area and the lightest pink color is still pre evacuation.
Credit Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch

Any large animals being held at the 4H barn in La Veta can stay, but a secondary location is open at the Las Animas County Fairgrounds.

Update 1:22 p.m. Friday, 6/29/18: The Spring Fire has burned close to 24,000 acres and is 0 percent contained, according to Colorado Emergency Management. La Veta Pass remains closed, as the Colorado Department of Transportation says Highway 160 between Fort Garland and La Veta is closed.

The perimeter of the Spring Fire burning in Costilla County. This image was released at 12 p.m., Friday, June 29, 2018.
Credit National Weather Service Pueblo, via Twitter.

The fire has now entered Huerfano County and is moving east/northeast toward Highway 160 and the community of La Veta. In a press conference, a representative from the La Veta Fire Protection District said that between 9:30 Thursday night and 1 a.m. Friday morning, the fire grew 10,000 acres. The blaze was described as rapidly growing with the potential to "wreak havoc on firefighters due to impending weather conditions." Officials say the fire will be hard to get in front of as wind gusts of up to 35-40 miles per hour are expected in addition to existing sustained winds of more than 25 miles per hour.

Current efforts are focused on preventing the fire from crossing Highway 160. Air resources, including D-10 tankers, have been brought in to fight the fire with both retardant and water drops. According to The Rocky Mountain Incident Response Team, aerial efforts have been marginally effective due to strong winds and extremely dry conditions in the fire area. 

There have been no injuries reported.

The Costilla County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that some structures have been lost, though exact numbers were not released.

Original story (posted 11:00 p.m. Thursday 6/28/18): The so-called Spring Fire, also called the Spring Creek Fire, burning in Costilla County in southern Colorado has grown to more than 14,000 acres as of Thursday night. That's according to the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention & Control. The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Highway 160 between Fort Garland and La Veta.

Evacuation orders went out to more than 350 phone numbers in the Forbes Park area Wednesday morning, and officials say as of Thursday morning, some structures had been lost. A pre-evacuation notice is in place for the Wagon Creek subdivision, as well as the area north and east of Trinchera Road, and south of Highway 160 in the Fort Garland area. Current information can be found at the San Luis Valley Emergency page.

(Map of Costilla County evacuation and pre-evacuation notices only.)

In Huerfano County, officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation notice for the Tres Valles Subdivision, including areas west to the county line, east to County Road 510, and County Road 520 north to the entrance to Majors Ranch.

As of about 10:15 p.m. on Thursday night, Huerfano County issued pre-evacuation notices for La Veta, the town of Cuchara, Paradise Acres and the Navajo Ranch Subdivision, including parts of Majors Ranch and Pinon Hills.

Red Cross evacuation shelters are in place in at the Huerfano Community Center in Walsenburg as well as the Blanca/Fort Garland Community Center in Blanca.

The state health department has issued an air quality advisory for portions of southern Colorado, including La Veta, Walsenburg and Pueblo. Smoke could also be detected in the air in Colorado Springs. A Red Flag Warning is in effect again Friday for portions of southern Colorado, including the San Luis Valley and Huerfano County.

Last updated 5:39 p.m. Friday, 6/29/18