Colorado: 300-acre wildfire burning near Rifle

Ground crews, single-engine air tankers attack fire Wednesday afternoon

Smoke from a wildfire near Rifle filtered into Summit skies Wednesday afternoon.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Dried-out summer fuels and high winds are fueling a 300-acre wildfire near Rifle, Colorado. According to local fire officials, the fire is burning along Highway 13, near mile marker 15.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the fire is burning on the west side of Highway 13. The road was closed for a while Wednesday afternoon but reopened again. No evacuations have been reported.

Much of Colorado is under a red flag warning, as the state enters a second fire season. Though air temperatures are not as high as in summer, the relative humidity is low.

“We’ve got a couple of single-engine air tankers on it and a couple of crews,” said Ross Wilmore, fire management officer with the U.S. Forest Service, and the incident commander for the fire near Rifle.

Initially, the fire will be attacked by a Type 3 team, with about 75 firefighters. Wilmore said the fire is burning in piñon-juniper woodlands and brush. He said there are enough resources on hand to tackle the fire the size it is now.

“These types of fires usually make their run early, but it’s going to be dry. I don’t think we’re going to get any moisture at all,” he said, referring to an incoming weather system that’s expected to drop temperatures but probably won’t deliver any precipitation.





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