Three homes burn in El Paso County wildfire |

Three homes burn in El Paso County wildfire

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ” A wildfire burned three homes east of Colorado Springs on Friday as strong winds spread flames across about 8,000 acres.

The blaze was fully contained by about 8 p.m., about seven hours after a lightning strike started the fire on the dry plains. The National Weather Service reported winds blowing at 22 miles per hour in Colorado Springs part of that time.

Firefighters from about 20 departments worked to build containment lines in near zero visibility because of blowing soot and ash.

One crew got hemmed in by flames after the wind shifted while they were trying to defend a home, said El Paso County sheriff’s spokeswoman Lt. Lari Sevene.

They managed to escape but the home was among the three lost.

“The wind was absolutely out of control,” Sevene said.

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A total of 17 structures were burned, including outbuildings and four trailers that didn’t appear to be residences.

The fire follows the driest July on record in Colorado Springs. Only 0.29 of an inch of precipitation was recorded last month, breaking the record set in 1924 with 0.30 of an inch.

In western Colorado, a 300-acre wildfire is burning on federal land but no structures are threatened.

The lightning-caused fire is about six miles north of Norwood and 200 miles southwest of Denver. It was reported on July 25.