Colorado wildfires: Evacuation order lifted after fire ignites near Peterson Air Force Base

Colorado Springs Fire Department
Firefighters from Cimarron Hills and Colorado Springs fire departments work to put out a wildland fire near Peterson Air Force Base on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Updated 6:39 p.m., April 2, 2023

A small wildland fire in east Colorado Springs, just north of Peterson Air Force Base, forced the evacuation of several nearby homes Sunday.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office put out a mandatory evacuation order at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday for homes within a 2-mile radius of the fire. The fire ignited Sunday afternoon in the area of Newt Road and Highway 24. Fire officials reported “heavy fuels involved” and warned of heavy smoke in the area. 

However, those evacuation orders were lifted within an hour of being issued. Authorities say firefighters quickly responded to the fire, which has burnt about 10 acres and is about 25 percent contained.

Cimarron Hills Fire Department is the agency leading the firefighting efforts, with assistance from Colorado Springs Fire Department. 

Southern Colorado is one of several areas facing extreme fire conditions Sunday, due to warm weather, low humidity and strong gusts of wind. The National Weather Service expects those conditions to last through Monday evening. 

The brush fire near Peterson Air Force Base, which hasn’t received an official name, is the latest in a series of wildfires bookending the weekend. 

About 100 homes were evacuated Thursday night in Parker and Teller counties due to the 403 fire. As of Sunday afternoon, that wildfire had burnt about 1,388 acres and was 25 percent contained. Officials say there have been no injuries reported and the fire has not destroyed any properties.

A brush fire also sparked in Morrison on Friday and grew to over 40 acres, causing a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater to be postponed. Another small blaze, the Bear fire, broke out Saturday and prompted mandatory evacuations for a handful of houses. Those orders were lifted the same night they were announced.