Sunrise Mine Fire now 48 percent contained
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters in Colorado have made some progress in stemming the 6,000-acre Sunrise Mine Fire, near Paradox, which is about 48 percent contained.
A second blaze, the 3,000-acre, lightning-caused Little Sand Fire northwest of Pagosa Springs, is still burning out of control and still poses a threat to some cabins and other structures in the area. Firefighters on the Little Sand Fire haven’t reported any containment yet.
Due to the rugged nature of the terrain, firefighters are focusing on a “confine and contain” strategy at the Little Sand Fire, with structure protection assessment and indirect fire line construction along the Piedra River, Sand Creek and Forest Road 631.
Although the eastern San Juans weren’t quite as dry as much of Colorado this winter, the fire is still active, with single tree and group tree torching and short- range spotting. The fire has mainly grown due to wind-carried embers igniting heavy loads of dead and downed woody fuels.
In some areas, crews are removing dead trees to open the canopy and prevent spreading crown fires. A total of 243 firefighters are working the Little Sand Fire.
At the Sunrise Mine Fire, more than 500 firefighters have completed significant containment lines, with active fire behavior still reported on the fire’s southwest corner, as well as creeping and smoldering along the south and east flanks.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, forest fires, forests Tagged: | Colorado wildfires, forest fires, Little Sand Fire, Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Springs fire, Piedra River, Sunrise Mine fire