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Cherry Canyon Fire has burned 9,600 acres in southeast Colorado

KUSA-TV Denver logo KUSA-TV Denver 5/23/2020 Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
© Provided by KUSA-TV Denver

A wildfire that started  this week has burned more than 9,600 acres near a small town in southeast Colorado, according to the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

The Cherry Canyon Fire, which was sparked by lightning on Wednesday, is burning about 10 miles northeast of the town of Kim in Las Animas County.

By 5 p.m. Friday, the wildfire had burned 9,602 acres in a remote area, and four isolated structures were threatened, according to a press release from the state fire division. The fire had 0 percent containment.

Unseasonably warm and dry weather, 40 mph winds and difficult access to where the fire was burning among canyons and cliffs had made fighting the fire difficult, the release says.

Fire crews planned to look for opportunities to contain the fire, and to keep it north of U.S. 160, east of County Road 179 and west of Colorado 109.

"Safety is the number one priority and as such, strategies moving forward include maintaining firefighter and public safety by utilizing sound risk management actions and utilizing suppression activities that guide the fire into natural barriers," according to the release.

The responding agencies were Las Animas County Emergency Management, Kim Volunteer Fire Department, Fowler Volunteer Fire Department and the state fire division.

The state fire division was also assisting the Kim Volunteer Fire Department with another wildfire in the area, the 466 Fire, which was 15 miles northeast of the Cherry Canyon Fire and about 2 acres in size.

Much of the southern half of Colorado is under a red flag warning from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday due to high fire danger. Las Animas County was under Stage 1 fire restrictions.

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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