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Church Camp Spared As Duckett Fire Continues To Burn

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Wildland firefighters pose in front of the Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp sign. (credit: CBS)

Wildland firefighters pose in front of the Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp sign. (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

WESTCLIFFE, Colo. (CBS4) – Things have been tense for administrators and members of a church camp in southern Colorado which was evacuated this week due to the Duckett Fire.

The Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp remained evacuated Thursday afternoon while firefighters continue to battle the fire, which was listed at nearly 3,000 acres. The fire started on Sunday in the San Isabel National Forest and as of Thursday afternoon was only 10 percent contained.

About 180 people had to leave the camp when the evacuation order came in, but no one has been sent home. Instead, adminstrators moved the activities to another site.

Pastor Dan Bollman of the Rocky Mountain Synod in Denver, the church that oversees the camp, told CBS4 he wasn’t too worried about the fire at first. He said fires break out somewhat near the camp facility from time to time. But then word came that the camp was directly in the fire’s path.

“You get a little worried about the facility, the beauty of the place, wonder just how close that fire is,” Bollman said.

Now that firefighters are working on containment of the blaze news has come in to Bollman from one of his camp directors that the facility was spared, something he was certainly praying for.

Flames apparently came right up to the edge of the camp and burned just about everything around it. Bollman says a group of more than 100 firefighters worked hard to save the facility.

“The firefighters have a really holy calling. We’re glad they were there to carry it out,” Bollman said.

Bollman said he expects there will be some cleanup to do at the camp, but — mostly importantly — “the place is safe.”

In addition to the Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, the Eagle Peak subdivision and Brush Creek Estates were evacuated Thursday because of the fire. People living in Pine Village and Pine Ranch have also been told to be prepared to evacuate.

County Highway 192 remains closed due to the firefighting efforts.

So far there has been no word on what caused that fire.

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