Crews battle 4,700-acre fire in southwest Colorado
August 9, 2009
DOVE CREEK, Colo. – A wildfire in southwestern Colorado was burning on about 4,700 acres – or about 7 1/3 square miles – by Sunday afternoon, but firefighters have the blaze about 25 percent contained and should bring it completely under control in the next few days, a fire official said.
About 187 people were battling the fire Sunday, Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch fire information officer Pam Wilson said. Although it was generating a large plume of smoke, officials were confident the fire would be secured soon, she said.
“This will take a couple days to get it buttoned up,” she said.
The fire started Friday – possibly from a lightning strike – and spread quickly through a canyon 12 miles southeast of Dove Creek. A fire lookout and a cabin were evacuated late Saturday because of the blaze, Wilson said.
In northwestern Colorado, another fire was burning Sunday on about 5 square miles near Dinosaur but is now 90 percent contained.
Firefighters have been preparing for a growing danger of wildfire in the region.
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On Thursday, the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center raised its preparedness from Level 2 to Level 3. Level 5 is the highest. The center coordinates the response to fires in Colorado, Wyoming and western South Dakota.