BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – When the order came in for more than 450 homes to evacuate due to a wildfire near Breckenridge on Wednesday, locals and vacationers alike suddenly found themselves in a stressful situation. A lot of them told CBS4 it was the worst wildfire they have ever seen.
“We saw a lot of people looking up towards the sky, and so we went to see what it was and there was a really big cloud of smoke and then that’s when we got the text to evacuate,” said Becca Calhorn, describing the Peak 2 Fire, which forced the evacuations in the Peak 7 area.
In addition to being winter ski destination, Breckenridge is popular for tourists during the summer months. The Calhorn family is visiting from Nebraska and they are currently without a place to stay.
“We went back to our rental cabin and packed up everything just as fast as we could and got all of our dogs into the car,” Calhorn said. “It was starting to get to a point where you could tell people were starting to rush and get into their cars as quickly as possible.”
The Peak 2 Fire is burning on federal land in the White River State Forest. It was first reported by a mountain biker near the Colorado Trail late Wednesday morning.
“It made the mountains almost look small, with how big the smoke (plume) was,” Calhorn said.
Anna Bourgeois has lived in her home at Peak 7 for seven years and was surprised when she got word about the evacuation order.
“I had no idea this was going on. I was out working in the yard cutting branches, doing wildfire mitigation on my lot and came around the corner and they said ‘You’re supposed to be out of here,'” said Bourgeois.
People in the houses that were evacuated were allowed back to the homes for a short time Wednesday night to collect belongings. The homes are about two miles away from the fire, which has burned more than 80 acres. As of Thursday morning, the mountain neighborhood remained evacuated.
The American Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees at Summit Middle School in Frisco.
– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.
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