Stay weather aware: Snow expected overnight

Evacuations ordered in southern Colo. wildfire

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Authorities sent out 2,530 emergency notification messages to residents in Black Forest after a fast moving wildfire started Tuesday afternoon destroying many homes in the affluent community near in southern Colorado.

Video from SkyFOX showed fire had consumed at least ten homes in the area. Officials are still working to determine how large the fire is.

> When available, KDVR provides LIVE images here

Firefighters who were inside the evacuation zone told FOX31 Denver they heard explosions indicating propane takes at homes had ignited.

Thick black smoke has risen above the fire and has traveled about 60 miles to the east.  It was visible from the southern metro area.

Residents within the area south of Hodgen, north of Burgess, west of Meridian and east of Peregrine Way, are under mandatory evacuation orders, deputies said at 6:30 p.m.

Another 383 voluntary evacuation notices have been sent out as well, said Sheriff Terry Maketa of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Maketa said residents in the voluntary evacuation zone should leave their homes now if they can.

Palmer Ridge High School (19255 Monument Rd., Monument) is being used as an evacuation center as well as New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Residents can call 719-444-8300 for more information.

Large animal shelters have been setup at the Elbert County fairgrounds at 95 Ute Avenue in Kiowa (Phone: 303-718-3343), deputies said.

The fire moved quickly pushed by winds and high temperatures, Maketa said.

https://twitter.com/OutdoorsinCO/status/344594297359839232

The fire started around 2 p.m. and is among several fires that started burning in Colorado Tuesday.

Continuing coverage from KDVR.com.

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