Highway 40 was closed from 2 in the afternoon Thursday to around 10 in the morning Friday between Maybell and Dinosaur, due to the Winter Valley Fire, which ignited Thursday south of Elk Springs. The fire, which was thought to be around 10 to 15 acres as of noon, had expanded to more than 5,200 acres, or more than 8 square miles, overnight. Due to the fires rapid expansion, residents, campers and hunters near the Deerlodge area were evacuated Thursday afternoon. The fire also threatens oil and gas structures and two communications towers in the area. High winds Thursday helped to fuel the fires expansion, and with wind gusts of 40 miles per hour again Friday, the fire is expected to continue to grow. Due to the closure of Highway 40, Highways 64 and 13 were used as detour routes. Pictured above, a map of the Winter Valley Fire perimeter, click to enlarge.