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Wildfire burning on Army base in Colorado

Wildfire burning on Army base in Colorado
© The Hill staff

A wildfire that began Sunday near Colorado Springs, Colo., is now burning in a U.S. Army base’s training area, officials said.

The Wild Horse Fire jumped over a highway as high winds swept the area and spread to Fort Carson’s training area. Base officials said in a statement that the fire currently doesn’t pose a threat to any facility personnel or property. 

Fort Carson Fire and Emergency officials reported the fire has burned 580 acres and is zero percent contained. The officials said high winds are not expected on Monday, and they plan to use UH-60 Black Hawks to fight the blaze, particularly on the Highway 115 corridor.

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The National Weather Service said winds reached 50 to 80 mph on Sunday afternoon, which Fort Carson fire personnel said likely drove the fire across the highway to the Army base. 

The wildfire had shut down part of Highway 115 for 13 hours before the highway reopened at 4 a.m. Monday, The Denver Channel reportedOfficials announced a six-mile portion of the highway would close for about three hours early Monday afternoon as authorities fight the fire.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office required evacuations for an area near the fire but has since lifted the order. The location is still under “pre-evacuation status.”

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The new fire is one of the smallest in the state. The larger Cameron Peak Park Fire has spread across about 134,559 acres and is 47 percent contained, and the Williams Fork Fire has stretched across 14,357 acres and is 26 percent contained, according to the Colorado Tourism Office

The Pine Gulch Fire, the largest in Colorado history, spread about 139,000 acres before being contained in September, two months after it started, CNN noted.

--Updated at 3:34 p.m.