The battle started a few minutes after 2:00 Monday afternoon, two fires within miles of each other racing toward Security and Widefield, away from Interstate-25.
“We had a fast moving fire due to the high winds,” said Captain Nancy Kittridge of the El Paso County Wildfire Crew.
High winds and dried out conditions fueled the blaze, which filled local neighborhoods with smoke, stopping traffic and forcing dozens of businesses to close their doors for the day.
Fire crews hoped the day would end quickly and give them some advantage in the fight.
“What happens is in the evening we would expect the wind to shift back on itself,” said Kittridge, “which would blow everything back into the burn area.”
The good news is, no buildings burned, and injuries were, at worst, minor for firefighters who fear this is a small taste of the season ahead.
“We're predicting to have warmer than normal temperatures, and less precipitation, and that will in fact cause us concern for a fire season that can be extreme,” Kittridge said.