(Canon City, CO)
The Royal Gorge Fire was projected to grow overnight after consuming 3100-acres since its ignition near Canon City along Highway-50 Tuesday afternoon. The blaze has burned at least three structures at the popular tourist destination but the bridge that spans the precipitous gorge enveloping the Arkansas River remains un-singed. The fire is mostly on BLM and private property and has been fanned by breezy winds amidst soaring seasonal temperatures. There is zero containment of the blaze so far, and the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
A National Forest spokesperson says the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning for the area on Wednesday—meaning conditions are tinder dry and ripe for fire. The fire has forced multiple evacuations, including the removal of 881 prisoners from the Canon city based Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility. Highway-50 remained closed in both directions on Thursday due to the inferno and motorists travelling from Montrose were being diverted onto Highway-285 and then Highway-24 to reach I-25 and the Front Range.