FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — Authorities declared the Carson Midway Fire 100 percent contained early Sunday afternoon while residents’ anger burned toward the nearby Army base.

“I’m prior service. My husband is prior service. We understand training. We understand the need of training,” resident Andrea Sales-McMurtry told CBS affiliate KKTV. “But when you have 60 mile an hour winds and you’re using hot rounds, you’re really putting everybody in danger.”

An on-line petition critical of Fort Carson using live rounds during training exercises on Red Flag Warning days had gathered nearly 1,300 signatures by the time crews contained the latest fire.

The Carson Midway Fire has destroyed three homes and multiple other buildings and vehicles.

(credit: KKTV)

The fire spread from the U.S. Army post to the rural Midway Ranch community outside Colorado Springs on Friday. It is not the area’s first.

Fort Carson spokeswoman Brandy Gill said Sunday it is not immediately clear whether soldiers were using live ammunition during a training exercise before the fire broke out.

But Gill also stated that live ammunition is regularly used because soldiers’ lives depend on realistic training.

That doesn’t calm the nerves of residents like Sales-McMurtry.

“They can’t fight the fire on the artillery rounds because there might be artillery rounds that haven’t gone off yet,” she said. “That would put them at risk. So, instead, all of us got put at risk. I hope it’s a learning experience for them now.”

A tire fire burning in the 20800 block of Prairie Fire Point remains the only significant trouble spot and has the attention of fire crews from El Paso County, Pueblo County, and Fort Carson.

The only homes still evacuated are in the area of this tire fire. All other residents were permitted to return to their homes Saturday evening.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments
  1. KC TC says:

    We are retired military and I also work on Fort Carson, but civilian lives and safety are NOT less important or patriotic, because we are not on active duty or being deployed. It’s ironic the military officials always stress safety and proper protocol, but feel they are exempt from public safety and alert warnings. Having patience and waiting a few hours or a day for safer wind conditions in drought situations would be more prudent and safe for everyone, including the military. Mother Nature usually holds the upper hand. Perhaps Mother Nature should be respected when the obvious comes calling… instead of being ignored by the powers that be… as sadly demonstrated. This wasn’t a lightning strike, it was caused by a poor decision with long term consequences for those affected.

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