Though only trace amounts, rainfall overnight helped with firefighters' efforts to extinguish the flame, said Fort Carson spokeswoman Brandy Gill.
"The rain did help, even though the firefighters did a great job fighting the fire Sunday afternoon," Gill said. "I don't think you'll ever hear a firefighter say they didn't appreciate the rain."
The fire was reported about 1 p.m. near Fort Carson's Gate 20 at the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex, which is on property owned by Fort Carson but not on the post. By 4:30 p.m., the fire had razed about 700 acres and forced an hours-long closure of southbound Interstate 25 between Mesa Ridge Parkway and Santa Fe Avenue exits.
About 20 homes and businesses near I-25's west exit to Santa Fe Avenue were placed on precautionary pre-evacuation status as the fire burned. The status later was lifted, and no residents had to leave their homes.
Gill said the fire likely was caused by gunfire at the shooting range, where practice is done on metal targets. But, she said, it's "impossible to identify which bullet from which gun sparked the fire." The range is open to the Army and civilians, and local law enforcement agencies often use it for training.Last month, Fort Carson was lambasted for staging live-fire training on a day when the National Weather Service issued a high fire danger warning. The activity sparked a blaze March 16 that burned 3,300 acres, destroyed two homes and forced mandatory evacuations of about 250 homes in El Paso and Pueblo counties
High fire danger is likely later this week due to high temperatures and wind speeds, said National Weather Service meteorologist Klint Skelly. Wednesday's high is expected to be 78 degrees with winds blowing at 10 to 20 mph and gusts reaching 35 mph. The high temperature Thursday is forecast to drop to 72 degrees with winds ranging at 10 to 20 mph in the morning and 20 to 30 mph in the afternoon.
This article is written by Liz Forster from The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.