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Firefighters battle small wildfire along river in Pueblo

April 10, 2022 GMT

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters in Pueblo were battling a wildfire on Sunday that charred roughly 20 acres (7.8 hectares) of a grassy, wooded area along the Arkansas River and forced evacuations in at least one neighborhood.

No structures were immediately damaged as about 50 personnel from several agencies fought the fire in dry and windy conditions on the north bank of the river in a rural section in the western part of the city, said Pueblo Fire Capt. Woody Percival.

The Pueblo Police Department said late Sunday the Aberdeen neighborhood east of the fire area as well as City Park were evacuated and that the fire had jumped the river at one spot.

Firefighters stopped the blaze from approaching 15 homes in a rural development and were taking advantage of a shift in wind direction to attack hot spots in the fire zone, which has tall trees and heavy underbrush, Percival said.

An animal shelter was evacuated after the fire broke out Sunday afternoon.

Winds gusted up to 40 mph (64 kph), Percival said, complicating efforts to contain the fire.

The cause of the fire was unknown.