By Rick Sallinger

COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Spring Fire in Costilla and Huerfano Counties in southern Colorado is now nearing 80,000 acres with more than 100 houses destroyed.

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(credit: CBS)

As this fire grows, so too does the perimeter around it. The Colorado National Guard has sealed off U.S. 160, the main East-West road in the region.

(credit: CBS)

Tens of thousands of acres have been consumed. What is believed to have started with a fire pit has now wiped out more than 100 homes.

A red outline shows the Spring Fire burn area (credit: CBS)

William and Connie Bartley were evacuated in their wheel chairs wondering if their house will be there when they return.

“At this point we don’t really know whether it’s gotten to us or not,” William said.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews the Bartley’s. (credit: CBS)

They are now living in an American Red Cross shelter along with more than two dozen scouts from Kansas. They were evacuated from the Spanish Peak Scout camp as the fire approached.

(credit: CBS)

Connie Bartley expressed her thanks to the Red Cross and those helping them and others who are waiting for a miracle.

PHOTO GALLERY: Spring Fire on July 3

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“Thank God for the people here and in La Veta. They have taken care of our animals and the human beings,” she said.

Jesper Joergensen (credit: CBS)

Authorities accuse Jesper Joergensen, a Denmark native whose visa has expired, of starting the fire when he cooked meat on a fire pit on June 26. The fire started the next day reportedly feet away from the fire pit.

Those impacted, like Connie, are now contemplating their future.

“I’m ready to leave Colorado,” she said. “I’ve been here since 1975. I’m ready to walk out and go back east where there’s water.”

With five percent containment, there’s virtually no end in sight.

LINK: Spring Fire InciWeb Page

This fire has now grown so large it’s approaching the size of the Hayman Fire in 2002 which destroyed more than 138,000 acres and 133 residences.

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), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.