By Jennifer McRae

LAMAR, Colo. (CBS4)– A grassland fire, dubbed the Sandy Creek Fire, burning near Lamar in southeast Colorado is so big, the smoke plume is showing up on radar. The towns of Chivington and Brandon received evacuation notices at 3:41 p.m.

(credit: Whitney Gonzales)

The smoke plume extends nearly 80 miles toward Burlington. It’s burning 10 miles northeast of Lamar near the border of Kiowa and Prowers counties.

The fire measures 2,000 acres and was 80% contained as of 9 p.m. Friday.

(credit: Whitney Gonzales)

First Alert Weather Meteorologists Dave Aguilera and Chris Spears tweeted about the phenomenon of the smoke plume showing up on radar.

Spears said the fire showing up on radar is “significant because the beams from area radars are several thousand feet overhead by the time they reach SE Colorado.”

Friday was declared a First Alert Weather Day due to the extreme fire danger and Red Flag warnings throughout Colorado.

Jennifer McRae