Officials: 117 Fire fully contained, human caused

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- A fire that burned nearly 43,000 acres in El Paso and Pueblo counties is fully contained, according to officials.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office also said the 117 Fire was human caused.

Officials said Friday's rain helped firefighters extinguish the fire. However, they advised people returning to their homes to use caution.

"Be prepared for hazards that may be present. White ash on the ground may indicate deep pockets where roots and ground vegetation have burned and may be continuing to burn below ground level," the sheriff's office said.

Authorities are also warning of burned standing trees that could fall down in the wind or under the weight of snow.

The fire destroyed at least 23 homes, marking a devastating start to Colorado's fire season.

Hundreds of firefighters were dealing with high winds as they worked to contain the fire, which burned near the border of El Paso and Pueblo counties.

While the sheriff's office said the fire was human caused, details as to who started it or how it began were not released.

The Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control is in charge of the fire.

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