Western slope wildfire now at 8,000 acres north of Maybell

CRAIG, Colo. - A fast moving wildfire continues to grow in northwestern Colorado.

The Alkali Fire was reported at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on private land 14 miles north of Maybell in Moffat County. 

By Wednesday night it had burned 8,000 acres, according to the Craig Daily Press.

The fire made significant runs through sagebrush and grass jumping county roads and emitting embers which started spot fires.  Fire officials said the spread potential of fire remains high.

Three people were evacuated ahead of the fast-moving flames.  A homestead, used as a part-time residence, and a barn were burned. There are also pipelines in the area which pose a concern for firefighters.

One firefighter reported to have received minor smoke inhalation.

"The biggest challenge for firefighters is shifting wind from thunder cells and dry fuels," said Incident Commander Todd Wheeler with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office. "Safety to firefighters and citizens in the area is our top priority."

Assigned to the incident are: Three Moffat County engines; One Craig Fire Rescue engine; one Bureau of Land Management engine; one Browns Park Refuge engine; one single engine air tanker; two Moffat County water tenders; and two Moffat County road maintainers.

Arriving on Thursday will be two 20-person Colorado State Wildfire Crews and two additional Moffat County road maintainers.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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