Wildfire in Pueblo forces evacuation at animal shelter The Denver Post

A 15-acre wildfire in Pueblo forced the evacuation of an animal shelter Sunday amid dry and windy conditions that made containing the blaze difficult.

The fire broke out Sunday afternoon along the Arkansas River east of the intersection of W. 11th Street and Pueblo Boulevard, Pueblo Fire Department Capt. Woody Percival said.

Residents in about 15 houses near the fire were asked to be ready to evacuate but were not forced to leave Sunday afternoon, Percival said. The Paws for Life animal shelter at 800 N. Pueblo Blvd. was evacuated and the animals relocated to a safe place.

The fire was burning between the rural housing development and a water treatment plant on the river, moving through 3-foot-tall grass and tall old-growth trees, with winds of about 15 to 20 mph and low humidity, Percival said.

“All of the things that add up to a bad situation with a fire,” he said.

About 45 firefighters from a variety of agencies were attacking the blaze, and it was “somewhat contained” by about 3:30 p.m., Percival said, though he added firefighters were “struggling to keep it in its boundaries right at the moment.”

The cause of the fire was unclear Sunday.

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