Wildland fire near Florence shuts down stretch of U.S. 50 Friday morning

Firefighters are working on putting out a wildland fire near Florence along U.S. 50 that has shut down the highway.

The Friday morning fire is on the northside of the highway, said Chief Bill Ritter, of the Florence Fire Protection District. The highway is closed near Colorado 67.

Ritter described the fire as small, but winds in the area are gusting up to 40 mph.

The National Weather Service has posted a high wind warning for the area starting at 9 p.m. Friday, when winds are expected to gust as strong as 70 mph. The wind warning is through 8 p.m. Saturday.

The cause of the Friday morning fire, which started before 11 a.m., is under investigation.

The Colorado Department of Transportation urges drivers to avoid the area if possible.

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