Colorado firefighters continue fighting blazes new and old

Firefighters around the state still have their hands full as wildfires old and new continue to threaten structures.

Authorities announced two new fires — the Indian Valley Fire and Trail Gulch Fire — over the weekend as firefighters continue to quiet the threat from older fires, such as the Lake Christine Fire and Sugarloaf Fire, which have been burning for several weeks.

Here is the latest information on Colorado’s wildfires.
 

Indian Valley Fire

Size: 5,707 acres

Containment: 67 percent

Location: 16 miles northwest of Meeker

This fire, which was started by lightning, was first spotted on Friday, July 20, around 1 p.m. in Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties. It’s burning in the Indian Valley/Colorow Mountain area and grew from about 5,100 acres Monday morning to about 7,000 Tuesday morning, according to the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office. By Thursday, it had decreased some, but bumped up Monday, July 30, to 6,310 acres. Some isolated structures are threatened, according to the Bureau of Land Management. About 311 fire personnel were working on this fire, as of the afternoon of Monday, July 30. Thunderstorms and gusty winds continued to be a weather concern. 

 

Trail Gulch Fire

Size: 27 acres

Containment: 50 percent

Location: North of Gypsum and I-70

After sparking Sunday around 7:45 p.m., this fire grew to about 27 acres Monday. By 3:30 p.m. Monday, Gypsum Fire Protection District said it was 50 percent contained. No structures are threatened. Crews spent most of Monday getting rid of hot spots, despite windy conditions.

 

Spruce Fire

Size: 10 acres

Containment: N/A

Location: 4 miles east of Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, this 10-acre fire was threatening one structure. It is burning along a ridge top in above Spruce Canyon near Mill Creek. No roads had been closed for this fire. Authorities with San Juan National Forest said they believe it was caused by lightning. Smoke may be visible near Pagosa Springs and along Highway 84, with a chance of smoke settling in the town at night.

 

Sulphur Fire

Size: 977 acres

Containment: 95 percent

Location: 5 miles north of Meeker

The Sulphur Fire started Sunday, July 22, during the afternoon a few miles north of Meeker. Winds from passing thunderstorms helped to spread the fire Sunday night, according to the BLM. As of 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, this fire, which was caused by lightning, was burning on steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain. Homes on the northwest side of Meeker were on pre-evacuation notice. Two homes that were closer to the fire were evacuated, according to the BLM. About 130 fire personnel were working to keep structures safe and reduce the growth of this fire, as of Thursday afternoon. Power lines are inhibiting air resources and the continued dry weather, hot temperature and gusty, erratic winds are causing difficulties for firefighters. Motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic along the roads between County Road 11 and Barone Middle School. On Monday, July 30, the fire was 95 percent contained. 

 

Stewart Gulch Fire

Size: N/A

Containment: N/A

Location: 15 miles southwest of Meeker

This is the third fire in this area in 2018. There is a concern for oil and gas operations. The cause is unknown.

 

Lake Christine Fire:

Size: 12,588 acres

Containment: 82 percent

Location: 1 mile northwest of Basalt

This fire started around 6:15 p.m. on July 3. Residents of Missouri Heights, Cedar Drive, Toner Creek, Seven Castles and Taylor Road remain in a pre-evacuation state. Two people have turned themselves in after being accused of shooting tracer rounds near the town of Basalt, which authorities have said created the wildfire. About 400 personnel were working on this fire, as of Tuesday morning. The fire claimed at least three homes. As of Monday, July 30, the fire had grown to 12,588 acres from about 11,800, but containment rose from 39 percent to 82 percent. 

 

Spring Creek Fire:

Size: 108,045 acres

Containment: 91 percent

Location: East of Fort Garland

This fire started during the afternoon of June 27 in Costilla and Huerfano Counties, and forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 homes since. At least 130 homes were destroyed in the fire. A man has been charged with 141 counts of felony arson in connection to this fire. Costilla County set up a page for residents to learn more about recovery after the fire.

 

Sugarloaf Fire:

Size: 1,280 acres

Containment: 35 percent

Location: About 13 miles southwest of Fraser

Authorities said this fire, which started June 28, was caused by lightning strike near the South Fork of Darling Creek, just south of Byers Peak Wilderness. About 40 fire personnel are working on this blaze. Authorities estimate that the fire will be fully contained by late August.

 

Silver Creek Fire:

Size: 110 acres

Containment: 0 percent

Location: Routt County

About 25 fire personnel are assigned to this fire, which started July 19. While the area had precipitation Monday, the fire still grew a small amount along its south edge. All of the Sarvis Wilderness is closed and both Sarvis and Silver Creek Trails are closed at both east and west trailheads. The eastern part of Forest Road 100/Buff Park Road is closed as well. Due to difficult access and safety concerns, fire personnel cannot directly engage with the fire, authorities said.

 

416 Fire:

Size: 54,129 acres

Containment: 50 percent

Location: 13 miles north of Durango

As of July 9, fire personnel had the fire under control and said they wouldn't post further updates unless there was a major change. Spotting smoke in the area on a hot day is normal, authorities said. They warned residents near Dyke Creek, Tripp Creek and in the Falls Creek area to be aware of severe flooding.

 

Burro Fire:

Size: 4,593 acres

Containment: 95 percent

Location: 14 miles south of Rico in Dolores County

This information is current as of July 16. 

 

Weston Pass Fire:

Size: 13,023 acres

Containment: 93 percent

Location: 9 miles southwest of Fairplay

This information is current as of July 18.

 

Buffalo Fire

Size: 81 acres

Containment: 100 percent

Location: 2 miles west of Silverthorne

This information is current as of July 20.

 

We will update this story as new information becomes available.

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