Crews fight Porcupine fire |

Crews fight Porcupine fire

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

Courtesy Kaycee BingerAn air tanker drops a load of fire retardant on the Porcupine Fire, about five miles southwest of Rifle, on Thursday.

RIFLE, Colo. ” Firefighters blasted a fire burning about five miles southwest of Rifle with heavy air resources Thursday, but it was still burning early Friday.

There are oil and gas facilities and other structures in the area, but they are not in immediate danger, according to officials fighting the fire.

Two single-engine tankers, one heavy tanker and one helicopter dropped several loads of fire retardant on the 100-acre Porcupine Fire Thursday, but it remained uncontained as of late in the day. Two fire engines and a Juniper Valley-Rifle hand crew also assisted with firefighting efforts.

There was no significant change in the fire’s status by early Friday, according to federal officials.

The fire, reported at 10:16 a.m. Thursday, is burning mostly on Bureau of Land Management lands. The blaze also borders some U.S. Forest Service and private land.

The Northwest Colorado Incident Management Type III Team took over command of the fire Friday morning. Previously, the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit had been the lead. That unit includes the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Garfield County and Rifle Fire, according to federal officials.

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There will be five Type I Hot Shot Crews at the scene to build fire lines on Friday, and more are expected to arrive, federal fire officials said. Two helicopters will dump buckets of water on the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.