PARK COUNTY, Colo. - The Springer wildfire, which ignited Sunday, continues to burn in Elevenmile Canyon between Lake George and Elevenmile Reservoir in Park County.
Authorities tell KRDO NewsChannel 13 the fire's size is now at 1145 acres and there is now 59% containment. Full containment is expected to happen on Sunday.
On Friday, Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a disaster for the Springer Fire and authorized $1 million to the state's Disaster Emergency Fund to pay for firefighting efforts.
Authorities said even though the fire no longer is moving toward Teller County, mandatory, voluntary and standby evacuations remain in effect for all affected communities until further notice.
Greg Heule, a fire team spokesman, said the situation remains serious because a fire in a canyon can suddenly intensify and spread quickly if conditions are favorable.
No homes or other structures have burned yet, and that comes as relief to a woman concerned about losing her summer home.
"The fire retardant kept the flames away," said Lynn Lansford. "I'm very relieved."
But Bodie Packham said he was going to prepare to evacuate anyway.
"Just in case anything changes," he said.
Concerned residents attended a briefing on the fire Monday night at the lake George Fire Station.
"We're feeling a little better," said Kim Packham. "We'll just have to keep an eye on it and pray that it keeps going the way it's going."
There will be another community fire briefing on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. at the Lake George fire station for evacuees, residents, and interested public. Park and Teller County Sheriffs, US Forest Service representative, incident command personnel, and the Incident Commander will be in attendance to present progress made on the fire and to answer questions.
The following mandatory evacuations remain in effect as of Friday afternoon: Wagon Tongue Subdivision, Echo Valley Subdivision, Circle C Ranch, Hidden Valley Ranch, and all of Park County Roads 98 and 403. The evacuation orders have been lifted for Beaver Valley Ranch and Beaver Valley Estates.
The Teller County Sheriff's Office also issued voluntary or standby evacuations for Sanborn Ranch, Wilson Lakes Estates, Forest Glenn Sports Association, Blue Mountain Estates, West Florissant Heights, Indian Creek, Valley High subdivisions and areas west of Wildhorn Road and Teller County Road 31.
Boy Scout Camp Alexander was evacuated Sunday and will remain closed until further notice. Pikes Peak Council would like to thank the firefighters who helped keep the Springer Fire from damaging Camp Alexander.
The fire was first reported at about 12 p.m. Sunday and spread very quickly.
Early Monday morning, a law enforcement source working the fire confirmed with KRDO NewsChannel 13 that "shooting explosive targets" was the cause of the fire. However, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Greg Goodland also said there was a lot of lightning in the area on Saturday.
Officially, Goodland said, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Federal air attack resources along with Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and resources from Park and Teller counties are assisting.
As of Friday afternoon there are 509 personnel on the fire, consisting of three hotshot crews, seven hand crews, 44 engines and four helicopters. Two heavy air tankers are available as needed by the firefighters.
Park County roads, 62, 90, 92 and 96 are closed.
A Red Cross evacuation shelter is open at Woodland Park High School.
Evacuees with large animals can take those animals to the fairgrounds in Cripple Creek.
Small animals can be taken to the Teller County Animal Shelter in Divide.
This is the second wildfire near Lake George in less than a week.
Firefighters previously battled the 30-acre Arkansas Fire, which was ignited by lightning on Wednesday night.
Authorities said having resources still in the area gave them a good head start on the Springer Fire.