updated 7/8/2005 1:34:07 PM ET 2005-07-08T17:34:07

An erratic 250-acre wildfire burned to within 100 yards of a rural subdivision, sending residents to pile children and pets into their cars and flee before dawn Friday.

About 45 homes were evacuated from the southern Colorado neighborhood, about 100 miles south of Denver, fire information officer Steve Segin said.

“People were afraid, but it was very orderly. Nobody really panicked,” Segin said. “I saw cars that were full of children, full of dogs. This one car had five Dachshunds in it.”

No injuries were reported.

The fire “got right down into the community — right at the edge, literally,” Segin said.

More than 80 firefighters, nine air tankers and two helicopters were at the scene, and fire trucks and crews were standing guard at the homes, Segin said.

The lighting-caused blaze was first reported Wednesday in dense stands of ponderosa and pinon pine and oak brush on rugged terrain in the San Isabel National Forest. It grew to 100 acres as temperatures neared 100 degrees Thursday and then more than doubled in size overnight when winds picked up.

Firefighters earlier this year had identified the area as a potential trouble spot because of the dense vegetation and tried to thin the trees with logging and prescribed burns in the spring, but it was too wet for the burns, Segin said.

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