Wildfire near Cañon City growing

The Eightmile Fire on Friday afternoon.

The Eightmile Fire on Friday afternoon.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A wildfire burning in southern Colorado grew to 700 acres Friday, firefighters said.

The Eightmile Fire is burning in Fremont County about six miles northeast of Cañon City . It has closed a four-mile stretch of Phantom Canyon Road between Cañon City and Victor.

It was about 700 acres in size by mid-afternoon Friday and growing in strong winds, said the a tweet by the Pike and San Isabel National Forests.

Officials believe it was started by lightning on Monday. Officials say rugged terrain and heavy fuel made direct attack on the fire too dangerous this week. It’s burning on Bureau of Land Management land and expected to stay on the agency’s land.

“We know it’s going to get larger based on the forecast,” Forest Service spokesman Gregg Goodland told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Goodland said humidity around the fire was low and highs were around 90 as the winds picked up Friday afternoon.

Thirty-five firefighters are battling the blaze and major reinforcements were on the way. Four 20-person Hotshot crews have been requested along with two heavy air-tankers and a Type 2 Incident Management Team.  A sky crane helicopter and two single engine air-tankers were already working on the fire.

Smoke from the fire was visible from great distances including Cañon City, Pueblo and Colorado Springs.

There were no pre-evacuation or evacuation orders late Friday afternoon.