UPDATE: Fort Carson fire in recovery, nearly 300 acres burned

FORT CARSON, Colo. (KKTV) - A fire on Fort Carson Sunday burned dangerously close to homes before firefighters got the upper hand.

Photo: Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette

The fire started late Sunday morning near gate 5. Unlike the majority of fires that spark on post, the fire burned near soldier housing areas and got close to Highway 115.

Fort Carson officials asked people in the Navajo Village Housing area, the Warrior Transition Battalion, and the 10th Special Forces Complex to evacuate. Gate 5 was also temporarily closed due to concerns of smoke inhalation.

"At this point we did evacuate a couple hundred personnel, about 200," said Col. Ronald Fitch, Fort Carson garrison commander. "Not because there was any concern of damage to any structures or property, but mostly because of the amount of smoke that you witnessed this afternoon. We were very concerned about smoke inhalation issues."

The fire burned about 270 acres. Fort Carson initially estimated the size at 700 acres, but have since lowered that number. At 5 p.m. Sunday, Col. Fitch told 11 News the fire was under control. Crews were prepared to watch the wind throughout the night to make sure it did not spread.

On Monday, Fort Carson sent an updated release stating the fire was in the recovery phase. As of Monday afternoon, Titus Boulevard remains closed from Gate 5 to Harr Street because of air operations using water buckets until likely 6 p.m.

Gate 5 is back open, but only open for residents of Navajo North and Navajo South housing areas and for emergency vehicles taking patients to the Evans Army Community Hospital. Anyone else trying to use this gate will be detoured to Gate 1.

Fort Carson also wants to remind residents to change their HVAC unit air filters to improve air quality and mitigate the effects of smoke.

No structures were affected and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Live-fire training tends to start the majority of the military installation's fires, but due to the proximity to homes, it's unclear what started Sunday's fire.

We will update as we learn more.