EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – After a harrowing day Friday, firefighters in El Paso County got up bright and early to attack the Birdseye Fire in Peyton. With homes at risk they knew they needed that early start to get ahead of Saturday’s weather.
Saturday was a Red Flag Day in Peyton with dry, warm and windy conditions.
“That’s why the crews were out at 6 a.m. because they knew it started at 10 a.m., the high winds. until 2 p.m. So, they got way ahead of it,” said Jim Reid, the Director of the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management.
Fire can move quickly in these conditions and get out of control fast. Homes within two miles in every direction remained evacuated. Fire officials worried the flames could flare up again.
“It’s always a concern when it’s a red flag. If you looked around the fuel is dry, the ground fuel is dry. Your grass and all that is dry,” said Reid.
Firefighters say they gained 90% containment as of Saturday afternoon. The fire sparked north of Peyton on Oct. 8.
The fire remains at 21 acres. They are hoping to get to one 100% by the end of the day.
“I think they’re going to accomplish this thing today,” Reid said.
One structure was damaged, sheriff’s officials said on Friday. The Calhan Fairgrounds is open and available for all animals for evacuees.
While conditions will remain dangerous for a couple more days, fire officials are hoping a cold front in the forecast will tamp things down. Giving firefighters a little bit of a breather. At least for a few days.
“Fire season is year-round now,” said Reid, “Here we are we’re probably going to have a freeze Monday and maybe snow on Tuesday and here we are fighting a wildland fire.”
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What started the fire burning northeast of Colorado Springs is being investigated.