East Troublesome fire driven by high winds forces evacuation order in Grand County

The East Troublesome fire burning in Grand County crossed Colorado 125 on Wednesday afternoon and the sheriff’s office has ordered mandatory evacuations.

People living east of Colorado 125 and north of U.S. 40, to mile post 5, have been ordered to evacuate, according to the sheriff’s office.

Driven by strong winds, with gusts of about 35 mph expected, the fire on Wednesday afternoon produced a huge column of dark smoke, which could be seen for miles.

U.S. 40 remains open in the area but Colorado 125 has been shut down.

“Take an overnight bag with necessary items and leave,” the sheriff’s office said. Property owners were advised to leave gates unlocked so firefighters can access the properties.

A Red Flag Warning for critical fire conditions has been posted for the area by the National Weather Service. Lower relative humidity, warmer temperatures and high winds were forecast, prompting the fire warning.

The fire crossed Colorado 125 in the Cabin Creek area, the sheriff’s office said.

“Considerable smoke” is blowing into the Grand Lake area. Fire ground and air crews are concentrating on the east side of the fire.

The fire, which started on Oct. 14 north of Hot Sulphur Springs, has burned 19,086 acres, about 30 square miles, as of Wednesday morning. It is 10% contained.

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