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Colorado: Highway 13 Fire near Rifle at 500 acres

Multiple aircraft aim to keep flames west of Grand Hogback

The Highway 13 Fire is burning north of Rifle, Colorado.

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. Continue reading

Las Conchas Fire started by downed power line

A burned forest landscape along Road 289 within the footprint of the Las Conchas Fire. PHOTO BY BURT STALTER VIA FLICKR.

Wildfire near Los Alamos 19 percent contained after destroying 63 homes

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — New Mexico fire officials said Sunday evening they’ve traced the ignition of the 122,000-acre Las Conchas Fire to an arcing powerline. Investigators were at the scene shortly after the fire started June 26.

They believe the fire started when an aspen tree blew down on to nearby power lines during a wind storm, according to New Mexico State Forester Tony Delfin.

The contact resulted in the line arcing, which then caused the tree to catch fire. Heat and flame caused the line to snap, which then allowed the burning tree to fall onto the ground where the fire spread into nearby vegetation.

The fire has destroyed 63 residences, five commercial properties and 32 outbuildings. Continue reading

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Evacuation order lifted at Las Conchas Fire, Los Alamos residents returning home as growth of wildfire slows down

A July 2 map from Inciweb shows the latest boundaries of the Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico.

SUMMIT COUNTY —Los Alamos residents forced to evacuate when the raging Las Conchas Fire burned to within a few miles of their town can return home, but will find a backdrop of charred and smoldering trees.

The latest infrared aerial surveys showed that the fire has spread across more than 120,000 acres, but the evacuation order for Los Alamos was lifted, allowing residents of the town to begin returning home.The growth of the fire slowed Saturday (July 2) as cooler and moister weather prevailed in the area.

The first tendrils of the summer monsoon brought some rain to parts of the fire, with a 30 percent chance of precipitation in the forecast the next few days.

According to the Los Alamos County website, most normal access points to the Los Alamos Town site were re-opened at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, with the following exceptions, State Route 4 remains closed west of Monterey Drive South and all access points to the Jemez Mountains remain closed. Continue reading

Las Conchas Fire grows to more than 100,000 acres

Wildfire near Los Alamos now the largest on record in New Mexico

A June 29 NASA satellite image shows smoke from the Las Conchas Fire, which has now burned over more than 100,000 acres, making it the largest wildfire on record in New Mexico.

A July 1 map shows the northeastward spread of the Las Conchas Fire.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — After early morning infrared aerial surveys, fire officials say the six-day-old Las Conchas Fire has now burned across a footprint of more than 103,000 acres, making it the state’s largest single wildfire on record, after the 2003 Dry Lakes Fire, which burned more than 94,000 acres in the Gila National Forest.

The fire was most active on its northern flank Thursday, where it burned across about 6,000 acres of the Santa Clara Pueblo, threatening watersheds and historic cultural resources.

Visit the Santa Fe New Mexican Fire Dashboard for continually updated information including a live blog. Streaming information is also available via this Las Conchas Fire Twitter hashtag.

Thursday’s light rain moistened some of the fuels in the vicinity of the fire, but forecast winds and low humidity will once again dry those fuels to previous levels by Friday afternoon. Continue reading

Maxwell Fire near Boulder grows to 100 acres

Air support ordered for Monday; evacuations ordered for more than 300 residents

The Maxwell Fire near Boulder grew to 100 acres Sunday afternoon.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The 100-acre Maxwell Fire burning near Boulder has led to the evacuation of about 340 homes in the Lefthand Canyon area, where the fire had grown to about 100 acres Sunday evening.

The fire grew quickly Sunday afternoon, but fire officials said they didn’t expect much new activity overnight. Crews will work the fire overnight, conducting burnout operations to start containing the blaze.
At least 100 firefighters are on-scene, with more personnel and equipment ordered for Monday, when expected hot and dry weather could cause the fire to flare up.

Three Type 1 crews and three Type 2 crews (20-person crews) have been ordered and heavy air tankers and 2 single engine air tankers battled the fire Sunday afternoon and evening. Air resources are ordered tomorrow, including a Type 2 Helicopter. Fifteen engines have also been ordered, according to the Inciweb update late Sunday night.

Arizona Wallow wildfire grows to half-million acres

Strong winds force evacuation of Luna, New Mexico

The Wallow Fire in Arizona. PHOTO COURTESY JAYSON COIL VIA INCIWEB.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Wallow Fire, burning in east-central Arizona, is already Arizona’s largest wildfire ever and has now grown to more than half a million acres in size. Click here to visit the Wallow Fire photo gallery on Inciweb.

Overall, the fire is 44 percent contained and residents of Alpine have been allowed to return home after a long evacuation period. But strong southwest winds Saturday (June 18) pushed the fire past containment lines along Highway 180 on the east side of the fire toward Luna, New Mexico, which was being evacuated late Saturday afternoon. Continue reading

Texas wildfires: Weather brings some relief

Texas Forest Service says fires have spread across 1.4 million acres

The RockHouse Fire in Texas burning in the Davis Mountains. PHOTO BY FRANK CIANCOLA VIA INCIWEB.ORG. Click on the image to see more photos from the Texas wildfires.

An April 22 map from the Texas Forest Service shows the locations of the active wildfires. Click on the image for the latest up-to-date interactive version of the map.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A cold front sweeping through parts of Texas brought cooler temperatures and more humidity, helping firefighters battling the Pk Fire Complex near Possum Kingdom Lake.

According to the April 21 Texas Forest Service incident management report a stationary cold front across central Texaas will generate some scattered showers and thunderstorms, with generally more moist conditions across much of the state.

The exception is in the west and northwest, with drier air in place and forecast gusty southwest winds up to 30 mph, along with relative humidity readings in the single digits.

Altogether, the Texas wildfires have now burned across more than 1.4 million acres. Continue reading

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