Fire at EVRAZ sends black smoke over Pueblo, grass fire north of city prompts evacuations

Hart Van Denberg/CPR News
A fire at EVRAZ steel mill sent black smoke over the city of Pueblo Friday afternoon, April 5, 2024. Extremely high winds are expected to raise fire to extreme levels along the Front Range into Sunday.

Last updated: Saturday April 6, 2024 at 5:01 a.m.

A fire at the EVRAZ Steel Mill is sending plumes of thick black smoke over Pueblo. As of 5:45 p.m., the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department has warned people living in the 1000-1100 block of Palo Alto in the Salt Creek neighborhood to be ready to evacuate if the fire spreads.

Pueblo County health officials advised residents to remain indoors whenever possible and avoid outdoor activities through Sunday due to multiple fires in the area, including Evraz.

Northern Avenue from Santa Fe Avenue to Santa Fe Drive is closed due to the fire and officials are asking people to avoid the area.

Some residents in north Pueblo — around 25 homes — have also been warned to be ready to evacuate if a grass fire spreads near Jerry Murphy and Vision Hills.

As of 5:23 p.m., the fire had scorched 82 acres and is 80 percent contained, according to a post on X from the Pueblo County Sheriff. Evacuations there remain in place.

The wildfire was first reported at 12:36 p.m.

At 1 p.m., the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office ordered an evacuation for residents living a half mile north of 1945 Overton Road.

Services for evacuees have been set up at the Pueblo County Parks Office at 1650 Cooper Place. Residents are instructed to enter off of Roselawn Road.

Residents who are evacuating can take large animals to the Liberty Landing Stables at 1401 S. McCulloch Blvd. in Pueblo West, according to a post by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. A secondary large animal shelter is located at 4 Bar S, 6675 Colorado Highway 78. The county's Community Animal Response Team is also available to help with large animal evacuations and can be reached at 719-251-0245.

Pueblo County and much of the state are under a warning for dangerous wildfire conditions today due to warm, dry and extremely windy weather.

According to the National Weather Service, Pueblo, Southern Colorado and most of the Front Range are forecast to see high winds through Sunday, with gusts up to 100 miles per hour possible in some areas.

This is a developing story.