LA JUNTA, Colo. (CBS4) – A Santa Fe Trail trading post originally built in the 1840’s was not damaged by a large, aggressive brush fire that erupted Saturday afternoon and continues to smolder 24 hours later.
The fire was dubbed the Bent’s Old Fort Fire by first responders only as a general reference to its location. The reconstructed adobe structure and the National Park Service property surrounded were untouched by the flames.READ MORE: Tri-County Health Investigating After Deer Trail School District Parents Claim Mask Mandate Is Being Ignored
An NPS Facebook post stated the fire came within three-quarters of a mile.
The fire moved to the south, closing U.S. Highway 50 as it jumped the Arkansas River, moved from Otero County into Bent County, and forced the evacuation of residents in its path.
Massive Fire East of La junta The “Bent’s Fort Fire” Fire units from all most of southeast Colorado responding. No size up as of yet. pic.twitter.com/nXn0iMwiv0
— Otero County Sheriff – Colorado (@OteroSheriff) April 11, 2020
The fire settled down late Saturday night. But flames flared up again in the early morning hours, requiring the closure of the highway between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.READ MORE: 'Shady... Cronyism' At Denver Parks And Rec Says City Council Member
Crews continue to mop up hot spots late Sunday afternoon.
Mopping up of hot spots and continued monitoring overnight and tomorrow pic.twitter.com/34c3rS7bg2
— Otero County Sheriff – Colorado (@OteroSheriff) April 12, 2020
No cause of the fire has been announced by authorities.
The gates to the Bent’s Old Fort site were closed March 26th as the park service condensed operations in an attempt to thwart visitation and the subsequent spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
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