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Cottonwood Pass reopens after crews knock down small fire

Smoke in Gypsum, Dotsero and Eagle is from other larger blazes burning outside Colorado

An Eagle Valley Wildland Fire team on the ground at the Cottonwood Pass Fire burning between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum on Tuesday.
GSFD Facebook photo

Four single-engine tankers, one helicopter and a crew of about 15 firefighters quickly knocked down a small fire Tuesday on the backside of Red Hill near Gypsum.

Cottonwood Pass between Garfield and Eagle counties reopened at 1:48 p.m. after being shut down after the blaze sparked after 11 a.m.

Multiple crews worked to contain the blaze, which broke out on about 3/4 of an acre on Forest Service land. The Forest Service was the lead agency in command.



An update at 4:45 p.m. from the Gypsum Fire Protection District stated crews made good progress throughout the afternoon and local resources were starting to be released. Gypsum Fire said it would keep crews on the scene into the evening.

Two tankers out of Grand Junction, another two from Rifle and a helicopter from the Eagle County Regional Airport boxed in the wildfire with targeted slurry drops, according to Heath Mosness with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.



The fire created a small smoke plume, but it is larger fires burning in New Mexico and Arizona that are causing the large amount of smoke in the air in Eagle County and throughout the Western Slope.

The fire near Gypsum was first reported by an Eagle Valley Wildland Facebook post shared by the Glenwood Springs Fire Department at 11:45 a.m., with some torching and winds picking up to 10 to 15 mph.

Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties are currently under a red flag warning fire danger alert.

A smoke plume is visible Tuesday from a fire on about 3/4 of an acre on Forest Service land on the backside of Red Hill near Gypsum.
Bob Silva/Special to the Daily

Currently in Colorado there is only one wildfire burning. The Beaver Tail fire is 7 miles northeast of Palisade and has burned 463 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. It is 90% contained.

Nate Peterson contributed reporting.


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