AP News, Firefighting, News

Homes Evacuated by Pine Gulch Fire (CO)

Firefighter carrying a ladder

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Some residents living near a western Colorado wildfire have been ordered to evacuate as the fire continues to expand.

The Pine Gulch fire, burning in remote, rough terrain north of Grand Junction, had grown to more than 45 square miles (116 square kilometers) as of Monday, fire officials reported.

Some residents in Garfield County were told to leave their homes Sunday as the fire spread to the north and more were told to leave Monday as it continued to spread. Fire officials say hot, dry and windy weather is fueling the blaze.

The fire about 18 miles (29 kilometers) north of Grand Junction was started more than a week ago by lightning in remote and rough terrain in Mesa and Garfield counties. It is 7 percent contained.

Meanwhile, a large brush fire forced evacuations and the closure of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon on Monday afternoon.