A fire burning west of Colorado Springs reached 100% containment Thursday night, two weeks after the fire sparked behind a resident’s home and raced across forestland close to houses amid strong wind.
The 403 fire in Park and Teller counties was estimated at 1,559 acres as crews tied in fire lines, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office said. Smoke will be visible as firefighters continue to patrol the area daily to put out hot spots.
Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said his office is pursuing criminal charges against the person who started the fire, which forced dozens to evacuate their homes as the fire crossed into Teller County.
“This fire was preventable. While it may seem early in the fire season, we remind everyone to use caution when dealing with any open flames, ashes or heat sources,” McGraw said in a statement.
Days after the 403 fire ignited, another fire sparked on a Park County resident’s property and grew more than 40 acres near Hartsel before crews could contain it.
McGraw said the Badger Creek fire was “a result of a homeowner’s careless actions on their private property” and violated the fire ban.
“The fire spread quickly and out of control due to the weather conditions,” he said in a news release.
Teller County remains in a stage 1 fire ban.
Dry and windy conditions led to several wildfires sparking across the state in the past week.
The Rampart fire in El Paso County was contained Thursday after sparking in the old Waldo Canyon burn scar April 11. It grew to 20 acres, burning in an area with grass and ponderosa pine before it was contained, according to the Pike and San Isabel National Forests website.
Crews are still working to extinguish hot spots, officials said Thursday night. The cause of the fire is unknown.
In southern Colorado, crews continued to contain the Trujillo Creek fire in Las Animas County, which was about 25% contained as of Friday morning.
“It’s a morning of good news. Yesterday’s high winds did not materialize,” the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page. “This allowed water drops to continue throughout the day.”
Residents forced from their homes were able to return Thursday, but should be prepared to leave if necessary, the sheriff’s office said. About 100 firefighters, including hotshot crews from California, helped control the fire that grew to more than 100 acres.