Sweetwater Fire south of Pikes Peak International Raceway 100 percent contained

Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 1:32 PM MDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2022 at 11:27 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A fire that forced evacuations Saturday is fully contained.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Sunday morning that crews had reached 75 percent containment on the Sweetwater Fire and were expecting to have 100 percent containment by noon. Firefighters beat their goal by 45 minutes.

An evacuation order was initially issued just after 1 p.m. Saturday for neighborhoods south of the Pikes Peak International Raceway as the blaze rapidly ballooned from 25 acres to more than 300.

“It was impacting a number of homes and residents in that immediate area,” said Lt. Shane Mitchell with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. “Members of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol, along with our fire department partners, began fighting that fire and law enforcement efforts to start evacuating those areas.”

Evacuations were lifted a few hours later as crews began getting a handle on the fire.

Officials say the fire was caused by illegal shooting.

“This was human-caused,” said Sgt. Jason Garrett with EPSO. “This was caused by folks illegally shooting in this area. We have identified the suspects and that investigation continues. There have been no arrest made at this time. No charges have been filed, but the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office does have a suspect identified, and we are continuing that investigation and work on a resolution to that.”

11 News will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

Meteorologist Luke Victor provided an update at about 1:50 p.m. that can be viewed below:

Mandatory evacuations were issued for an area south of PPIR. just after 1 p.m. 10/22