FT. CARSON, Colorado - Just before noon on Sunday, Fort Carson fire crews battled a fast-moving fire near Gate 5. Smoke billowed across Colorado Springs and could be seen and smelled for miles. It's estimated to have burned near 700 acres on the installation.
Garrison Commander Col. Ron Fitch said, "the concern today was the fire was near a hospital, housing areas and across the street from our golf course."
Burn scar showed the fire came within feet of homes just at the bottom of a hill along Colorado Highway 115. Nearly 200 people were evacuated and 400 were affected altogether. Residents were let back into their homes just after 7 p.m. but urged not to use to their air conditioning units to prevent smoke inhalation.
Fire crews were seen scaling a steep hill to fight flames in touch to reach spots, but the wind didn't let them get very far. After the wind died down, two Fort Carson helicopters were seen taking water from the golf course's pond and dropping it over flare-ups.
Dozens of people pulled over alongside the highway and across the street at Cheyenne Mountain State Park's parking lot watching as flames came dangerously close to the highway.
Jason Crable, a Fort Carson soldier who couldn't reach his home because of the fire said, "They're having a hard time because the wind is blowing it in a northeasterly direction."
Colorado Springs resident, Brad Martin sat and watched from his truck. He said, "They try the best they can, but when it's windy like this, you can rarely get a helicopter up and all you can do is control it and just protect structures."
No one has been injured by the fire. Fort Carson personnel are still investigating the cause and will be monitoring the fire overnight.