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The unusually warm weather that is bathing the Front Range in sunshine has a down side. It has exacerbated drought conditions, sparking a seven-mile-wide wildfire on tinder-dry land on Fort Carson Army post, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, which notes that firefighters were overwhelmed yesterday morning as 25-mph winds fanned the flames, making it impossible to control.
The fire even jumped paved roads, threatening buildings, and prompting evacuations. The Ray Nixon power plant, located a mile south of the fire, continued to operate as Colorado Springs Utilities workers sprayed water on coal piles to prepare for a worst-case situation.
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The fire, last measured at 6,500 acres, is expected to have grown overnight and to keep growing today. More than 100 firefighters, two helicopters, and a plane are already working to control the blaze, and a heavy air tanker will be added today.
9NewsÂ reports that the so-called Quarry Fire is 10 percent contained and has spread into the city limits of Fountain. The cause of the fire is unknown. Soldiers were training in the area before flames erupted.