East Peak Fire: 95 percent contained, residents may still see smoke

WALSENBURG, Colo. - The East Peak Fire in Southern Colorado is 95 percent contained, but residents in the area should expect to still see smoke and flames.

"Residents may expect to see smoke in the area for the next several days due to unburned pockets of fuel burning deep within the fire perimeter," according to incident manager. "Residents and visitors are urged to refrain from taking any action in extinguishing these small plumes and should notify local authorities."

Officials said firefighters are standing by any new fire starts. There are still 269 fire personnel assigned to the fire.

The East Peak Fire started June 19. It has burned 13,572 acres between LaVeta and Walsenburg.

Firefighters will be concentrating on moping up hot spots and and patrolling along fire lines and around structures, officials said.

Firefighters hope to call the fire fully contained on Wednesday.

Twelve homes were lost in the fire.

Monday at 6 a.m., a Type II management team transferred command of the East Peak Fire to a Type III organization.  That means the fire is no longer a national concern and can be handled on a state or regional level.

"Firefighters on this incident have been very professional and have done an outstanding job, we have come together with local fire resources and I’m proud of the work we have all done," Incident Commander Jay Esperance told departing fire crews.