UPDATE (10:00 p.m.): Winds have died down and crews say the fire is no longer spreading, they are able to focus on monitoring hotspots. The fire burned 17 acres.

UPDATE (3:20 p.m.): According to a Facebook post by the Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office, a Department of Fire Prevention and Control helicopter is currently dropping water. They are making good progress at this time. More updates will be provided during a press conference at 6p.m.

The location of the press conference has been moved to Ski High on Sherman Avenue.

MONTE VISTA, Colo. — A “large” fire that started on Wednesday afternoon in Monte Vista is causing a dangerous situation for people who live and work in the area, according to the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

NWS has reported the fire is burning in the San Luis Valley where strong winds (gusts of 30 to 40 mph) are expected to continue into the afternoon.

The Regional Emergency Coordination Committee (ECC) is reporting mandatory evacuations in the area North of Hwy 285 between Jefferson St. And N. Henderson Rd.

Evacuees are being told to go to the Ski Hi Complex located at 2335 Sherman Avenue.

This article will be updated.