Piñon Canyon Fire Jumps Purgatoire River To Private Land

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email
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A wildfire that started on a the Piñon Canyon military training site in southeastern Colorado has doubled in size in a day and has scorched 42,000 acres.

The fire started in the Red Rock Canyon Area of Piñon Canyon. Military officials Thursday said the fire crossed the Purgatoire River, a natural fire break, and is now burning in surrounding federal, state and private land.

It is threatening about 8 ranches but officials say no structures are in immediate danger. So far about 5-thousand acres of private land has burned.

About 125 firefighters, including three Hot Shot crews, were fighting the fire, which was burning on grass and pinon-juniper in the remote and rugged country.

The fire has not been contained at all and low humidity, high heat and gusting winds have hampered efforts to control the fire, said Capt. Gregory Dorman of Fort Carson, which operates the site.

Currently there has been no damage to structures and no injuries are reported.

A medical support element from the 10th Combat Support Hospital and a Mobile Kitchen Team from the 43rd Area Support Group are among the military personnel supporting the efforts of firefighters.

CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are also being used.

Fort Carson officials believe the fire started from a lightning strike.

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