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Catalytic converter from a deputy’s vehicle sparked large fire southeast of Colorado Springs in Security-Widefield

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 3:57 PM MDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 9:59 PM MDT
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SECURITY-WIDEFIELD, Colo. (KKTV) - The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office announced a fire in the Security-Widefield area on Thursday was started by a catalytic converter from a deputy’s vehicle. The deputy was trying to make contact with a suspicious vehicle and drove across a field. The grass caught on fire and the vehicle was destroyed as the fire ended up scorching more than100 acres.

The fire is considered accidental, and it will be investigated.

Fire crews were first called to the area of Milton E. Proby Parkway and Powers Boulevard at about 3:30 p.m. When the first crew arrived on scene, they issued a mandatory evacuation for a subdivision to the east. About 50 homes were evacuated.

As of 7 p.m., the fire was still “active” but the “bulk” of the fire was under control, according to Capt. Mike Smaldino with the Colorado Springs Fire Department. The evacuation orders were lifted at 7:10 p.m. As of 9:45 p.m., about 138 acres had burned with 15 percent containment.

About 100 firefighters, 28 deputies and 63 officers from CSPD assisted with battling the blaze and evacuations. No structures were lost or damaged.

There was also a shelter-in-place alert for the airport that impacted about 200 people. That alert was lifted at about 6:25 p.m.:

“At this time the shelter in place has been lifted at the airport. If travelers have vehicles parked at the airport they are free to leave. There will be shuttle busses on the lower level to take travelers off airport for those who need to be picked up. Please note, travelers are not able to be picked up at this time. The shuttle bus will drop those without a personal vehicle at the 7/11 at Astrozon and Powers.”

The following agencies assisted in the fire: Security, Fountain, Stratmoor, CSFD, Hanover, Fort Carson, Peyton, Tri-Lakes Monument/Donald Wescott, Calhan, Ellicott, USAFA, Colorado Springs Utilities and Black Forest.

A heavy helicopter was already in the area, pre-staged before the fire, and also assisted.

This fire sparked about hours after two others in Colorado Springs. Click here for more on the fire in the area of Stetson Hills and the Skylark Mobile home park. Click here for more on a fire that was burning Teller County that prompted evacuations.

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