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Eightmile Fire 40 percent contained as temperatures soar

The Eightmile Fire on Friday afternoon.

The Eightmile Fire on Friday afternoon.

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. — The wildfire burning in southern Colorado was holding steady at about 524 acres, firefighters said Monday.

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.

“Dry and hot weather will return for the weekend with spotty areas possibly hitting critical fire weather conditions at times in and near the mountains- especially on Sunday,” the fire tracking website Inciweb said. “Another upswing in precipitation expected early next week.”

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 40 percent contained as of Monday evening.

Officials believe the fire was started by lightning one week ago. 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.

About 230 total people were fighting the fire.

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