Smoke from a wildfire near Idaho Springs on Sunday. (Corinne Westeman, Colorado Community Media)

IDAHO SPRINGS — Evacuations were ordered Sunday in a central Colorado mountain community as fire crews battle a wind-driven blaze.

The fire, named the Miner’s Candle fire, began as a structure fire, destroying a vacant cabin and another unoccupied structure near Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County Undersheriff Bruce Snelling told station KKTV in Colorado Springs.

Winds were gusting up to 50 miles per hour. Significant smoke was visible from Interstate 70, and some lanes of the highway were closed west of Idaho Springs.

The undersheriff says about two dozen homes in the area were evacuated. An evacuation center was up at the local school district.

A red flag warning was in effect until 3 p.m. Sunday.

The fire was 50% contained as of 5 p.m.

The rare December wildfire in Colorado’s mountains comes amid a streak of dry, warm weather in Colorado. Denver hasn’t had measurable snowfall yet this winter season in what represents the latest the city has ever gone without measurable snowfall.

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