ETX man drives through Colorado wildfire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX man drives through Colorado wildfire

For four days, a wildfire has scorched more that 43,000 acres of Colorado's High Park. The blaze was first detected on Saturday and investigators believe it began by a lightning strike.

Lindale resident Cody Alvey and his wife Mandi were on their way back from vacation at Yellowstone National Park when they spotted the wildfire.

"Looking out across the mountains at the smoke and everything, it looked pretty bad," Alvey said.  "You saw plenty of airplanes and helicopters trying to put the fire out with the water."

Alvey and his wife were 65 miles north of Fort Collins, CO when they first saw the smoke. They then had to drive more than three hours by the blaze before they were clear of it.

"It was kind of thick. Everyone had to drive real slow with all the smoke with their headlights on. It was bad traffic," Alvey said.

When Alvey stopped at a gas station, they ran into a few of the evacuees, trying to gather water and supplies before leaving their homes.

"We stopped at a gas station and that's when we saw everyone buying water and everything they can to leave," Alvey said.

More than 2,600 evacuation calls were made, but firefighters said right now they don't have high hopes for how many homes were destroyed. 

Local firefighters say the fire is burning at a rate of about 20 to 40 feet per minute. At that speed, combined with the high winds, they don't know when they will be able to get the fire under control. 

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