BEULAH, Colo. (CBS4) – Operators of a piece of construction equipment that belongs to the Colorado Department of Transportation may be responsible for sparking the Beulah Hill Fire.

Investigators say an excavator was at the epicenter of the fire’s burn area. The equipment was being used in a flood mitigation project.

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor called it a tragic accident said that the operator tried hard to get the spark out.

PHOTO GALLERY: Beulah Hill Fire

The fire to the southwest of Pueblo was 50 percent contained on Thursday. It has burned eight homes and the burn area covers nearly 5,000 acres. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated, including the town of Beulah.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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