KEYSTONE, Colo. (CBS4/AP)- A fire burning west of Keystone Ski Area Thursday evening has forced some homes to be evacuated.
The fire has burned 20 acres in slash piles, according to Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Steve Lipsher. About 20 homes, including condominiums, were evacuated east of Soda Ridge Road as a precaution. Firefighters hope to have everyone back home by midnight.READ MORE: Colorado Water Suppliers Seeing 'Traditional Patterns' Change Each Year
Keystone Lodge is being used as the evacuation center for those forced from their homes.READ MORE: 'This Is Offering Them Shelter For The Night': City Of Northglenn Converts Old Rec Center Into Winter Housing For Homeless
Officials with Lake Dillon Fire and Rescue said the fire is fueled by gusting winds and dead trees. Firefighters are working in structure protection mode.
About 30 firefighters were trying to keep the blaze away from the homes and out of stands of dead trees. Several mountain communities and the U.S. Forest Service have been warning that the millions of acres killed by bark beetles could provide fuel for catastrophic wildfires.MORE NEWS: VIDEO: Colorado Bobcat Hunts For Next Meal
Lipsher said more crews were expected to arrive in the Keystone area. A helicopter has been requested. Federal firefighters will take over management of the fire on Friday, including a Type 3 team. What caused the fire is being investigated.