BENT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A wildfire burning east of John Martin Reservoir State Park forced officials to order an evacuation of the park Thursday night. The blaze, dubbed the McClave Bridge Fire, is burning east of the park but creeping toward it.
Staff and visitors at @JohnMartinSP are evacuated as a wildfire burns in the riverbottoms on the north side of the Arkansas River about three miles east of the park. It appears to be moving west toward the park. https://t.co/YjfoD1kPXA pic.twitter.com/u2uCtD9XofREAD MORE: COVID In Colorado: Rural Hospitals Worry About Staffing As Vaccination Deadline Approaches
— CPW SE Region (@CPW_SE) May 1, 2020
Estimates from the National Park Service and Bent/Otero County authorities put the fire about 500 acres in size. But all reports Friday morning indicate fire crews have already built containment lines around half of it.
The first reports of the fire came in at dusk Thursday.
Officials at the state park announced the evacuation order at 7:30 p.m. It has not been reported how many people were in the park at that time. Campgrounds there are closed until Monday.READ MORE: Focus On New Moms, Pregnant Women In Colorado Naloxone Project Expansion
View from the #mcclavebridgefire at John Martin reservoir in Bent County. Prayers to the firefighters battling this fire in rough terrain. Photo from @CountyOtero and Sheriff Jake Six (Bent County). pic.twitter.com/JTY74UXTrk
— Otero County Sheriff – Colorado (@OteroSheriff) May 1, 2020
The fire is consuming brush, grass and trees on the north side of the Arkansas River, according to a Twitter message from Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 10 a.m. Friday.
Less than three weeks ago, residents in the path of another brush fire 10 miles to the west of John Martin Reservoir were also forced to evacuate. That fire burned within a mile of the Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, which at that time was closed to visitors.
MORE NEWS: New Video Emerges Of Aurora Police Stop, Triggering Internal Investigation: 'I Was Petrified Of That Gun'