Colorado wildfire has Hawaii family on edge - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Colorado wildfire has Hawaii family on edge

Photo Source: Pueblo Chieftain Photo Source: Pueblo Chieftain

Custer Co., CO (HawaiiNewsNow/KKTV) - Fire crews hope higher humidity levels will allow for an aggressive effort against the Duckett Fire in Custer Co., CO Friday, as many residents and visitors, including a family from Hawaii, remain temporarily displaced.

The wildfire has burned 3,883 acres in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, 16 miles northwest of Westcliffe and affecting residents in both Fremont and Custer counties. It remains 10 percent contained as of Friday morning.

Four hundred and thirty-four firefighters are battling the blaze from both the ground and sky. To date, $644,000 has been spent fighting the fire. Resources include 11 hand crews, 24 engines, two water tenders, five dozers, two Type 1 helicopters and overhead personnel.

The Chambers family has been watching the wildfire since Tuesday night. They say it's difficult watching the smoke and flames from a distance. They say from a few miles away it seems there is no hope for their summer cabins.

"From this standpoint, about three miles away, it looked like it burned up last night. It was 300, 400-feet towers of flames, you can see it jumping fast right up our valley. So we went home last night thinking our cabins were a total loss," said Bob Chambers.

Bob and Wayne Chambers live in Hawaii. But after hearing news of the fire, they immediately flew to Colorado and drove to Westcliffe. "We are here to hope for the best and prepare for the worst," said Bob Chambers.

Flames and smoke have surrounded their summer cabins that sit along Spruce Creek. Their family has owned property there for 20 years, and are fully aware of the fire dangers.

"We have our own tractor and equipment up there just for things like that," added Chambers.

Both Bob and Wayne offered their help to fire crews. They say it's hard to sit idly by and just watch as flames get closer to their homes. But they say they appreciate all the work firefighters are doing.

"I know it's dangerous work, you can see how it flares up every now and then. God bless you all for doing what you're doing," said Chambers.

Gusty winds have been spreading the flames, according to Christe Feldmann, Director of Custer County Office of Emergency Management. Air resources were also grounded Sunday because of the winds.

There has been no indication yet on what started the fire in the first place; however, a source close to the investigation says it was either human caused or ignited by lightning.

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