Wildfire forces evacuations in Keystone

Fire-Rescue spokesman: Wind pushing flames toward resort

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Smoke has filled Keystone Gulch where a 20-acre wildfire broke out Thursday afternoon at about 4:30 at the site of a logging operation.

As of 6:45 p.m. Thursday, firefighters had been called in from all neighboring districts, including Vail, but they have not had success containing the blaze. Several homes at the base of the gulch have been evacuated, but the blaze has not reached any structures.

"We have firefighters tasked with defending structures and at this point we are optimistic," Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Steve Lipsher said.

A 40-mph easterly wind was pushing toward the Keystone Resort boundary and made containment more difficult. Lipsher said the fire could reach the resort if the wind gets stronger.

"All bets are off if this wind picks up and the cold front comes through and the fire runs up and over Westbridge and to Keystone," Lipsher said.

The ski area currently is not at risk, but the resort has geared up snow-making equipment, which will be used to douse the blaze if it gets close.

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