Colorado wildfires: Evacuation orders lifted for High Park fire, Plumtaw fire grows overnight

San Juan National Forest
The Plumtaw Fire burning northwest of Pagosa Springs airport, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Two wildfires in southern Colorado are currently burning as the region faces another day of dry and windy conditions. 

Crews working on the High Park fire, which ignited late last week near Cripple Creek, have continued their progress containing the blaze. They’d reached 69 percent containment by Tuesday evening. The fire currently sits at about 1,550 acres, and officials said they’ve corralled the fire into an area where there’s less chance of it spreading. 

“The area of active fire near the perimeter has really been narrowed down due to the actions of the operations folks out there,” said incident management team analyst Glen Lewis. 

Evacuation orders for the High Park fire will be lifted Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. People must provide proof of residence to enter their neighborhood. So far, there have been no reports of structures being destroyed.

Further to the southwest, crews are fighting the Plumtaw fire near Pagosa Springs, which grew to 600 acres by Tuesday evening. Evacuation orders have been issued to the Lost Valley of the San Juans neighborhood, located in Mineral County.

Federal fire officials reported on Inciweb that the fire grew overnight, but they did not provide specific figures. 

The causes of both fires are under investigation. 

Most of Southern Colorado will be under a red flag warning Thursday, due to gusty winds and prolonged drought. Some regions have enacted a burn ban, which carries fines up to $2,500 and potential jail time.