Multiple aircraft aim to keep flames west of Grand Hogback
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Highway 13 Fire, burning near Rifle, in western Colorado, has grown to 500 acres, but firefighters have been able to check the spread of the blaze despite winds gusting up to 25 mph.
According to Inciweb, there are structures in the general vicinity of the fire, but no evacuations have been ordered and Highway 13 remains open. The fire is about nine miles from Rifle Gap Reservoir, burning on the west side of the Grand Hogback in piñon-juniper woodlands and mixed conifer stands.
The late fire-season start with active fire behavior shows how high fire danger can linger into the autumn, until snow covers the ground. Gusty winds are expected to continue in the area for the next few days, upping the challenge for firefighters.
Firefighters on the ground got help from three heavy helicopters (including an Air National Guard helicopter based in Gypsum), a light helicopter, two single-engine air tankers and heavy air tanker joining the attack, with the goal of containing the fire on the west side of the hogback.