Evacuations lifted in Garfield County as firefighters gain control of Red Canyon Fire

Posted at 5:23 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 23:34:16-04

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. – Evacuation orders were lifted nearly four hours after a "rapidly moving" wildfire sparked in Spring Valley late Wednesday afternoon.

The Red Canyon Fire — the latest wildfire to ignite in Colorado — was first reported at around 4 p.m. and was burning between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. The blaze was burning in grass and brush near Fisher Cemetery Road and County Road 115.

It had initially been reported to be 20 acres in size once firefighters with the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District arrived at the scene at around 4 p.m., and was later upgraded to 200 acres by 5:30 p.m. by Carbondale firefighters. Just before 7 p.m., the protection district said the fire was between 30-40 acres in size, not 200 as previously reported.

Evacuations issued, later lifted

Homes in the High Aspen, Coulter Ranch and Homesteads Estates were ordered to evacuate, fire officials said, with Roaring Fork High School serving as the evacuation center. The evacuation area covers residents south of County Road 115, north of County Road 113, and west of County Road 121.

Carbondale firefighters were working to protect structures, which fire officials said were currently threatened.

Type 1 and type 2 helicopters, as well as several single-engine airtankers, seven engines and a water tender from the Grizzly Creek Fire responded to help battle the blaze.

"Fire resources are making excellent progress on the #RedCanyonFire from both the air and ground," a fire official said on Facebook. "Dozer line is being constructed and a night shift will be on scene."

By 8:12 p.m., Garfield County Sheriff's Office deputies said the fire was controlled and evacuations had been lifted.

This is a developing story. It will be updated throughout the evening.