As the 117 Fire in El Paso County continues to burn, it’s been announced that 60% containment has currently been achieved. Firefighters hope to work more on containment prior to wind speeds picking up again later on Thursday, when gusts are expected to hit 35 miles per hour. This compares to current wind speeds of 10 to 15 miles per hour.
This fire has currently destroyed 23 homes and has burnt 40,892 acres. Based on acreage, this makes the 117 Fire the 8th largest that the state has seen, according to the Colorado State Forest Service, placing it between the Bear Springs Callie Marie fires of 2011, which burnt 44,662 acres, and the Beaver Creek fires of 2016, which burnt 38,380 acres. It’s also worth noting that all of the state’s top 10 largest fires have occurred since 2002.
As of now, no serious injuries or deaths have been reported, and while more than 300 residents are still under evacuation orders, these orders have been referred to as “soft evacuations” by El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, as many residents are starting to return to their homes.
With changing wind patterns throughout the day having the potential to effect the burn, please stay aware of how the fire is moving if you’re near the evacuation zone.
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