WESTCLIFFE, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a wildfire burning in the southern Colorado mountains still has the potential to grow as more families have been evacuated.

The fire near Westcliffe was listed at 2,476 acres Wednesday afternoon, a day after low humidity helped the fire make a significant run to the south. Crews were able to put in bulldozer lines around the north side of the fire.

The fire is burning only two miles away from the Brush Creek Estates. That’s where 35 homes were evacuated Wednesday morning.

westcliffe fire map Southern Colorado Fire Still Has Potential To Grow

(credit: CBS)

Firefighters both on the ground and in the air, 350 total, are battling the blaze. A helicopter is making 800 gallon water drops as crews work to secure a line around the fire.

Fire managers say more dry, windy weather is expected over the next few days.

People who own property fear the worst because the fire continues to grow.

“From this standpoint, it looked like it burned up last night. It was 300 to 400 feet towers of flames, you can see it jumping fast right up our valley. So we went home last night thinking our cabins were a total loss,” said cabin owner Bob Chambers.

The Eagle Peak subdivision, County Road 192 and the Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp remain evacuated.

Tuesday’s run prompted the evacuation of homes along one road. Residents of 50 homes in Fremont County were previously told to evacuate and residents of another 50 houses in Custer County have been put on standby.

The fire started in the San Isabel National Forest on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of 180 people from a church camp. The cause isn’t known.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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