Colorado Springs Area Residents Evacuated As Latest Wildfire Nears City


Residents south of Colorado Springs were ordered to immediately evacuate Saturday afternoon as a fast-moving wildfire approaches the city—the latest this year, as active wildfires across the country scorch more than 500,000 acres.

Key Facts

As of 4 p.m., the Sweetwater Fire covers 312 acres, and is 0% contained, according to the Denver Post.

“EVACUATE NOW,” the El Paso County Sheriff’s office posted in a tweet on Saturday, warning “all others” to avoid the area.

State officials have not determined the cause of the fire, which broke out Saturday morning.

The Sweetwater Fire is one of three active wildfires in the state, including the 250-acre Big Dominguez fire in Mesa County, near the Utah border, and the 2,918-acre CR 15 fire in Yuma County, near the border of Kansas, in eastern Colorado.


Wildfires have intensified and become more frequent in recent years, believed to be the result of longer periods of drought accelerated by climate change, and years of overgrowth allowing dry wood supplies to accumulate in forestland and neighborhoods, scientists say. According to a February United Nations report, devastating wildfires will increase in frequency by 14% by 2023 and by 30% by 2050.

Key Background

Nearly 57,000 wildfires this year burned more than 7 million acres in the U.S. this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, an increase from the 6.5 million acres that burned last year, but still more than a million acres short of the 8.47 million acres that burned in wildfires in 2020. Active wildfires, including 14 in Washington state, are burning more than 534,000 acres.

Further Reading

Wildfire burning south of Colorado Springs forces evacuation order. (Denver Post)

New wildfire forces closure at 148-acre park in Colorado (OutThere Colorado)