New evacuations, 3 homes destroyed by Lake Christine Fire near Basalt

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BASALT, Colo. (KCNC) - Hundreds remain evacuated because of the Lake Christine Fire burning right next to the town of Basalt and close to the neighboring town of El Jebel.

The fire has quickly burned at least 2,000 acres in the far southwest corner of Eagle County, close to the border with Pitkin County and Garfield County.

Three homes have been destroyed.

There’s no containment so far, and on Thursday morning fire officials said they don’t have a truly accurate estimate on the acreage right now, but firefighters have managed to keep the fire from crossing Highway 82. That’s the main highway between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.

Overnight fire officials ordered the evacuations of two more neighborhoods. More than 500 homes are evacuated due to the fire. Evacuees can find shelter at either Basalt High School or Roaring Fork High School.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post that “erratic outflow winds, extremely dry fuels, and single digit relative humidity” are hampering firefighting efforts. They said the homes that burned were destroyed “during the extreme fire behavior and prolific ember shower” overnight.

Joanie Haggerty, an evacuee, told CBS4 she was concerned because “we’ve had about one rain since the snow ended in about April.”

As the fire grew on Wednesday, everyone in and around Basalt had a perfect view of the flames.

“It’s pretty nerve-wracking actually, you can see the progression of the fire. It was over there and relatively small, but all of this happened during the day, because the wind has been blowing that way,” Mick Shattuck said.

On Thursday morning some flights at the Aspen Airport were canceled, possibly due to heavy smoke from the fire.