Investigation: CDOT excavator may have caused Beulah Hill Fire

The Beulah Hill Fire on Wednesday.
The Beulah Hill Fire on Wednesday.

This story was last updated Thursday. 

>> Tap here for the latest on the fire. <<

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — A preliminary investigation by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office has found the Beulah Hill Fire was caused by a Colorado Department of Transportation excavator.

Sheriff Kirk Taylor said the excavator created a spark while the driver was doing routine flood mitigation. There’s evidence the driver tried to put out the fire while he called 911.

“This is the preliminary findings of the investigation,” Taylor said. “These are by no means etched in stone.”

As of Thursday morning, officials estimate the fire along Highway 78 east of Beulah has burned about 5,232 acres. The fire is 50 percent contained.

At least 8 homes and 16 outbuildings have been destroyed. No injuries have been reported.

>> Interactive map of the burn area. 


The evacuation shelter at the Colorado State Fairgrounds Event Center at 1001 Beulah Avenue in Pueblo is still open. 

The 4-H Building on the Colorado State Fairgrounds is serving as a disaster assistance center for residents affected by the fire. Information available at the center includes public and environmental health, behavioral and mental health, planning, zoning and other social services. Food kits from Care and Share Food Bank are also available. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Sunday.

The Pueblo Community Joint Information Center is open. Call 719-583-4640 if you have any questions.


  • Small animals can be taken to the Pueblo Humane Society located at 4600 Eagle Ridge Place.
  • Large animals can be taken to the Colorado State Fairgrounds at 1001 Beulah Avenue. Use Gate 6.

Pueblo Animal Services Animal Law Enforcement is rescuing pets stranded in the evacuated area. To report animals left behind in the evacuation zone, call 719-544-3005, press 1 for Animal Law Enforcement, and press 1 for Emergency.

If you find a lost horse or other animal and are able to transport it, take it to the fairgrounds so it can be reunited with its owner.

Steel City Alley Cats Coalition, a non-profit animal welfare organization based in Pueblo, is giving out free dog and cat food to any pet owners affected by the fire. All food is free and will be given out until the fire is fully contained, according to founder and director Samantha Townsend. Call 719-582-1043 for more information. Food can be picked up or dropped off.


Due to road closures and evacuations, USPS was not able to deliver mail to about 750 addresses on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. All Beulah mail is being held at the Pueblo Sunset Station at 3000 Wedgewood Drive. The mail is available for pickup with identification.

If mail is not picked up, it will be delivered once the restrictions are removed.

This story was last updated Thursday. 

>> Tap here for the latest on the fire. <<

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