20-acre wildfire near Carbondale prompts evacuations | AspenTimes.com

20-acre wildfire near Carbondale prompts evacuations

Staff report
Flames seen south of Carbondale on Friday are from a blaze possibly started by a power line.
Jack Rafferty/Special to The Aspen Times |

A wildfire that grew to 20 acres Friday afternoon in the lower Crystal River Valley prompted the evacuation of a housing area and campground and closed Colorado 133.

Homes along Red Dog Road 7 miles south of Carbondale were evacuated and a shelter was set up at Roaring Fork High School. The KOA campground 5 miles from Carbondale also was evacuated.

The fire itself, according to a Pitkin County alert, is in ranchland about 4 miles south of Carbondale. Smoke was visible from as far away as Cattle Creek along Colorado 82.

At 6:20 p.m., an update from the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District said the fire was about 10 percent contained.

An aerial tanker had done one drop on the blaze and was returning to Grand Junction to reload for another drop.

Fire crews from Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Snowmass, Aspen, Upper Colorado River Fire Crew, Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control, the U.S. Forest Service Control and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department were working the emergency.

An early alert indicated that the blaze, which started around 3:30 p.m., probably was ignited by a power line. A recording at Holy Cross Energy said the utility had a power outage in the area. Initially, the fire was about 5 acres, but a wind shift shortly after 4 p.m. apparently helped it grow.

Highway 133 was closed Friday evening at mile marker 63 until further notice due to fire mitigation.