Fire in Bent County burning near Boggsville historic site forces evacuations near Las Animas, Fort Lyon on Saturday

Courtesy of Las Animas/Bent County Fire Protection District.
A wildfire in Bent County on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

Update 7:20 p.m. Sun. March 3, 2024

As of Sunday evening, all pre-evacuation notices have been lifted. The fire is 80 percent contained.

Update 10:34 p.m., Sat. March 2, 2024

As of 6:00 p.m., on Sat. March 2, authorities have lifted evacuation notices but caution residents should still be prepared to leave. Multiple agencies remain on scene for the night. The fire has grown to 1030 acres, or about 1.6 square miles, with no containment, according the Las Animas/Bent County Fire Protection District.

Original story:

A fire burning in Bent County in southern Colorado has closed a highway and forced evacuations. 

The Las Animas/Bent County Fire Protection District says the fire that started Saturday morning is burning near Boggsville historic site, which is south of Las Animas. Highway 101 is closed in the area. The Colorado Department of Transportation says about 25 miles of U.S. Highway 50 east of Las Animas is also closed.

As of 3:30 p.m., the fire had grown to 831 acres, which is nearly 1.3 square miles, with zero containment,  officials said.

Evacuations are in place for east of Las Animas and Fort Lyon, as well as residents on the south side of Highway 50 near Fort Lyon. The Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at the Las Animas Community Center.

Authorities say multiple agencies are responding. A Multi-Mission Aircraft from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control has been ordered to assist, according to DFPC. The planes come with infrared and color sensors geared toward providing real-time information.

The fire comes as much of the Front Range and Eastern Plains are seeing red flag warnings, which means high fire danger due to gusty winds and low humidity. The conditions can make it easier for fires to spread quickly. Temperatures are in the low 70s in the region.