West Slope blaze burns at least 12,000 acres
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —The lightning-sparked Pine Ridge Fire raced all the way to I-70 and the Colorado River Friday as residents of the greenbelt along the river watched anxiously.
But helped by the weather, as well as air support from of a couple of Canadian air tankers, firefighters were able to knock the fire down a couple of notches, declaring it 10 percent contained by the end of the day.
According to the most recent official estimates, the fire had burned across a footprint of at least 12,000 acres as of Friday morning, though that acreage is likely to grow after an evening overflight to collect heat data with infrared sensors. A total of four air tankers provided support today.
Crews built on overnight success by adding containment on the westernmost portion of the fire near its origin. The fire ran hard to the east until it encountered I-70 and the Colorado River, guarded by a line of firefighters.
So far, the damage has been limited to three unoccupied tents and campers destroyed when the fire crossed Mustang Ranch Thursday. No other injuries or property damage has been reported.
A total of four air tankers provided support for about 150 firefighters on the ground Friday. Bill Hahnerberg, former incident commander at the High Park Fire, will take over operations as head of a Type 1 Incident Management team Saturday morning.
There are currently no new evacuations or pre-evacuation orders in place.
For information about preparing for possible evacuations, log on to http://www.sheriff.mesacounty.us.