EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (WITI) — A wildfire is burning homes in Black Forest in El Paso County, officials said Tuesday, June 11th.
Video from FOX6′s media partners at FOX31 in Denver showed fire had consumed at least ten homes in the area.
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Firefighters who were inside the evacuation zone told FOX31 Denver they heard explosions indicating propane takes at homes had ignited.
Thick black has risen above the fire and has traveled about 60 miles to the east.
Residents within the area of Tahosa, south at Shoup, east at Holmes and North to Fox Chase, including all of Cathedral Pines, are under mandatory evacuation orders.
Voluntary evacuation orders have been issued for areas bordered by Holmes, Black Forest, Hodge and Shoup.
Palmer Ridge High School (19255 Monument Rd., Monument) is being used as an evacuation center.
Large animal shelters have been setup at the Elbert County fairgrounds at 95 Ute Avenue in Kiowa (Phone: 303-718-3343), deputies said.
The fire started around 2 p.m. and is among several fires that started burning in Colorado Tuesday. Originally it was estimated to be about 15 acres in size but has since grown to many more although deputies have not yet provided an estimate.
Deputies are shutting down eastbound Shoup Road at Highway 83 and southbound Highway 83 from North Gate Boulevard.
No cause for the fire has been released yet.
The sheriff’s office has said it will use the Twitter hashtag #BlackForestFire to update the public.
Air tankers have been called in to support firefighters including a heavy air tanker from Albuquerque, N.M. as well as crews from the Colorado Springs Fire Department.