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Fire near Cave of the Winds quickly extinguished thanks to robust response by firefighters

Firefighters mopping up a small fire along Highway 24 near the Cave of the Winds entrance on...
Firefighters mopping up a small fire along Highway 24 near the Cave of the Winds entrance on May 16, 2022.(City of Manitou Springs)
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:41 PM MDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 5:39 AM MDT
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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Smoke rising near Manitou Springs briefly caused alarm Monday evening.

A fire had sparked off Highway 24 near the entrance of Cave of the Winds, creating a sizable smoke plume and shutting down part of the roadway.

Officials said at 9 p.m. that the fire was under control and crews were just remaining on scene to ensure nothing flared up.

“Tonight we expect about 12 mph sustained winds, so we are being extra vigilant in making sure we’re mopping up those hot spots,” said Manitou Springs spokesperson Alex Trefry.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Officials haven’t released the exact size of the fire, but it was described as being small. As seen in the photo at the top of this article, it primarily burned along the side of the road and didn’t creep far beyond that. There were never any structures threatened.

Twenty Manitou Springs firefighters, along with crews from three nearby agencies, responded to the blaze.

“I would like to give a big thank the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Springs Fire Department, and the Crystal Park Fire Protection District for their joint response, which led to us being able to control this fire so quickly,” Trefry said. “... Every fire, when it’s this dry outside, right, could become much larger, so it’s extremely important that you do have quick responses in things like that, and it plays so much into the fact on the joint response that we had to lead to the situation now where we’re just mopping up hot spots.

Like all other officials in the Pikes Peak region, Trefry implored citizens to heed fire danger warnings. Currently, unincorporated El Paso County and several municipalities within the county are on stage two fire restrictions, while the city of Colorado Springs has implemented an outright burn ban. (What a burn ban means can be found here, while information on stage two fire restrictions can be read here.)

“As we are all aware, Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Region is in a period of extreme fire danger. We are asking our residents and the area at large to be extremely vigilant in their daily activities and to be on high alert for any signs of fire,” Trefry saud.

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