Junkins Fire now 33 percent contained

>> This story was last updated Thursday. Tap here for the latest on the fire. <<

CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. — Residents of four areas that were evacuated due to the Junkins Fire are now allowed to return home.

The fire in Custer and Pueblo counties has burned about 16,832 acres, according to the latest estimates. The fire is 33 percent contained.

Map shows the fire area as of Thursday morning. Tap the image for a larger version.
Map shows the fire area as of Thursday morning. Tap the image for a larger version.

A community meeting for evacuees will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the west gym at Custer County Consolidated School.

Officials said Thursday evening that six homes and 18 other buildings have been destroyed by the fire. One of the homes was a primary home, and the other five were vacation/summer homes.

No injuries have been reported.

Investigators said the fire started around 3:40 a.m. Monday in the area of County Road 358 and Junkins Loop. Investigators said the wind blew a piece off of a metal building. The metal piece hit a power pole, knocking the pole down. The power line then hit a barbed wire fence, sparking the fire.

PUEBLO COUNTY EVACUEES RETURNING HOME

Residents of the following areas in Pueblo County will be allowed to return home Thursday:

  • North Creek from Central to the Red Mountain Youth Camp
  • Simonson Trail Subdivision

Residents must obtain a re-entry permit before going home. The permits are available until 6 p.m. Thursday at the Colorado Building on the Colorado State Fairgrounds. Residents will need a photo ID with proof of address, or any photo identification card along with other documentation with proof of address.

Residents should be aware that food may have spoiled due to extended power outages. Dumpsters for spoiled food are available at the intersection of North Creek Road and North Creek Cutoff Road. The dumpsters are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

CUSTER COUNTY EVACUEES RETURNING HOME

Residents of the following areas in Custer County will be allowed to return home Thursday:

  • Eagle Springs Ranch Subdivision
  • Greenwood Subdivision from County Road 390 to mile marker 24

Residents must obtain a re-entry permit before returning home. Permits are available until 8 p.m. Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Wetmore Volunteer Fire Station at 200 County Road 290 in Wetmore. Residents must present proof of residence and identification.

Residents will be allowed to return home starting at 5 p.m.

PRE-EVACUATIONS LIFTED

Pre-evacuation orders have been lifted for all areas.

EVACUATIONS STILL IN EFFECT

  • North Creek Road from Red Mountain Youth Camp to the county line
  • County Roads 358 and 387
  • Smith Creek Subdivision
  • Highway 96 from McKenzie Junction to County Road 390 (mile markers 20 to 23)

EVACUATION CENTERS

  • Valley Bible Fellowship at 116 Hermit Lane in Silver Cliff
  • First Southern Baptist Church at 3015 East Third Street in Florence

ANIMAL EVACUATIONS

Large animals may be taken to:

  • The Custer County Fairgrounds in Westcliffe
  • The Draper Ranch on County Road 290 in Wetmore
  • The horse arena at the Colorado State Fairgrounds – Gate 6

Small animals may be taken to Pueblo Animal Services at 4600 Eagleridge Circle in Pueblo, or to the Custer County Fairgrounds.

Animal Law Enforcement is available to rescue pets stranded in the evacuated area. To report animals left behind in the evacuation zone, call 719-544-3005, press 0 for Animal Law Enforcement, and press 1 for Emergency.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Highway 96 from Westcliff to McKenzie Junction
  • Highway 165 from McKenzie Junction to mile marker 9 (north of Ophir Creek)
  • County roads 358, 386, 387, 388, and 389
  • North Creek Road from the Red Mountain Youth Camp to the Pueblo/Custer county line

MAIL DELIVERY

The fire has affected mail delivery to about 75 homes. Mail is available for pickup with ID at the Westcliffe Post Office at 4 Bassick Place.

>> This story was last updated Thursday. Tap here for the latest on the fire. <<

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