LA VETA, Colo. (CBS4) – Fire officials working to try to contain a wildfire burning near La Veta in southern Colorado have suffered a setback. The Spring Fire grew by 10,000 acres overnight.

La Veta Marshall Harold Willburn watches the movement of the Spring Fire on Tuesday. (credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

It is now listed at 94,093 acres, and it is one of the largest wildfires in recorded state history.

(credit: Costilla and Huerfano Counties)

On Tuesday officials said they had the fire 10 percent contained. On Wednesday morning they said the percentage is now back down to around 5 percent.


Officials plan to provide updates on the fire in a community meeting in La Veta at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. It will take place at the La Veta High School gym.

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

The fire is burning in Costilla County and Huerfano County. It has destroyed 104 homes plus the outdoor concert stage used by the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.

(credit: CBS)

Dozens of evacuees are currently living in shelters set up by the American Red Cross.

“Thank God for the people here and in La Veta. They have taken care of our animals and the human beings,” evacuee Connie Bartley told CBS4 on Tuesday.

Pre-evacuation notices are now in place for the following area “south of the Huerfano/Las Animas County Line south to County Road 42 and East to County road 21.7 and west to Highway 12” which includes:

– Cuchara Pass Ranches
– Timber Creek Ranch
– Timber Ridge @ Cordova Pass
– Spanish Peak Ranch Estates

Jesper Joergensen (credit: Costilla County)

One man is under arrest and accused of starting the fire. Authorities accuse Jesper Joergensen, a 52-year-old 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.

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