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Breckenridge residents told to prepare to evacuate as wildfire spreads

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. -- Officials warned residents that "all of Breckenridge should be prepared to evacuate" after a fire broke out in Summit County on Wednesday morning.

The Peak 2 Fire was reported in the Gold Hill area just after 11 a.m.

The fire is burning in the Miner's Creek drainage between Frisco and Breckenridge, two miles north of Breckenridge Ski Area, in dense lodgepole and dead beetle killed pine, the Summit County Sheriff's Office said.

The fire began to "blow up" around 1 p.m., moving toward the Peak 7 area and grew to an estimated 80 acres, Red White and Blue Fire Protection said.

All of Peak 7 -- approximately 463 homes -- were under a mandatory evacuation until noon Thursday and additional residents of Breckenridge and Shekel were warned to prepare to leave their homes.

No structures have been destroyed.

RELATED: Hourly forecast for Peak 2 area

Red White and Blue Fire Protection said firefighters are on the scene and alerted residents not to call 911 unless it is an emergency.

Eight U.S. Forest Service smokejumpers parachuted in to the area, two heavy tankers have been making slurry runs, there is a Type 1 helicopter dropping water and more ground resources are on the way.

All three local fire districts are fighting the fire.

Residents can sign up for alerts, a program that "sends emergency notifications by phone, email and text to keep community members informed of events such as evacuation notices, utility outages, water main breaks, wildfires, floods and hazardous materials spills."

Summit County also has an emergency blog that residents can access for information about evacuations.

Firefighters from Leadville, Vail and Park County are assisting in fighting the fire, and Grand County firefighters are on the way.

Four more hotshot crews and a 21-person ground crew have been ordered. A federal incident management team is also coming in to manage the fire.

The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation center at Summit Middle School (158 School Road in Frisco) for those affected by the fire.

Peaks Trail, Gold Hill, Wheeler, Miner's Creek trails are closed. Authorities warn people to stay away from the area.

They also warned drivers should not stop on the side of the road to take pictures of the fire.

A temporary flight restriction in place over the fire, meaning drones are not allowed in the area. Drones interfere with the aerial efforts to fight the fire.

"If you fly, we can't," an official said Wednesday.

Officials said they will keep an eye on the fire overnight and regroup in the morning Thursday.