Colorado Wildfire That Forced Residents to Evacuate Thought to Be Human-Caused

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Raymond Gehman/Getty Images)

A wildfire broke out in Colorado’s El Paso County on Saturday. Fire crews have it 75% contained, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. The Sweetwater Fire, which broke out around 2:20 pm on Oct. 22, burned about 346 acres before fire crews got it relatively under control.

The fire burned close to the Pikes Peak International Raceway. It reached the edge of the north end of the parking lot behind the grandstands. Authorities evacuated residents in the area, but allowed them to return to their homes by Saturday evening.

Police deputies believe the fire was human-made. They speculated that it could have started by people at a firing range, according to a report from Out There Colorado.

West Virginia Authorities Sentence Woman Who Started Wildfire

A fire burned in Kanawha County, West Virginia earlier this year, and authorities have arrested and sentenced the woman who started it. A judge sentenced Hannah Faith Boley, 23, to 4 years in prison for “setting fires to lands in Kanawha County,” according to the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

The Horsemill Hollow Fire began around 3:30 pm on March 22, 2022. It burned about one-tenth of an acre before fire crews contained it. There were no injuries reported and allegedly no structures or communities were threatened. But, police still arrested Boley for destroying natural resources.

Colorado Closes Parks Amid Four Corners Fire

A wildfire recently broke out at Colorado’s Mount Muscoco, and the state has closed North Cheyenne Canyon and Helen Hunt Falls in response. The Four Corners Fire began around 6 am on Oct. 22. The Colorado Springs Fire Department announced the fire on social media.

“We ordered the [Multi-Mission Aircraft] from the State to fly over at first light,” the department wrote on Twitter. “Fire is named Four Corners Fire. No evacuations have been ordered at this time. [North] Cheyenne Canyon Park/Helen Hunt Falls will be closed today.” 

In another tweet, the department shared that fire crews had made contact. “Firefighters have hiked into the area,” they wrote. “Estimating the fire is less than 1 acre but in steep and rocky terrain. Helicopter should be on scene within 15 minutes to do water bucket drops to assist crews with putting the fire out.” 

According to the National Weather Service, they issued multiple red flag warnings in the area. This is due to dry conditions and high winds that could spread the fire further. “A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” writes the National Weather Service. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.”

The Front Range Foothills and parts of the Northeast Plains were on high alert for wildfire activity. As of Saturday, Oct. 22, the fire is controlled and under investigation.