Eightmile Fire now at 500 acres, subdivision on pre-evacuation alert

The Eightmile Fire on Friday afternoon.

The Eightmile Fire on Friday afternoon.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A wildfire burning in southern Colorado had burned about 500 acres as of Saturday afternoon and was expected to grow, firefighters said.

The Eightmile Fire is burning in Fremont County about six miles northeast of Cañon City . It closed a four-mile stretch of Phantom Canyon Road between Cañon City and Victor, and a pre-evacuation notice was issued for 16 residences in the Red Rocks Subdivision.

The blaze was estimated at 700 acres on Friday afternoon, but an investigation using infrared cameras found that estimate to be too high.

The blaze was 2 percent contained as of Saturday afternoon.

Officials believe the fire 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.

About 100 firefighters are battling the blaze on Saturday.

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