Wildfire east of La Junta 50 percent contained

(Photo: La Junta Fire EMS on Facebook)

LAS ANIMAS, Colo. — Fire crews have been able make progress against a fire burning on 500 acres on Colorado’s southeastern plains.

The fire in a rural area east of Las Animas was 50 percent contained Saturday. Emergency manager Rick Stwalley told KKTV that the fire activity calmed after midnight, giving crews the chance to build containment lines. However, he said fire activity could pick up later in the day because if thunderstorms develop.

Nine homes remain evacuated.

The fire started Thursday night in a riverbed near the Bent County Correctional Facility. National Guard helicopters were dispatched to help ground crews on Friday.

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