Fire crews knock down fire on Cottonwood Pass; road has reopened
UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: Four single-engine tankers, one helicopter and a crew of about 15 firefighters on the ground have made good progress on a small fire 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 are working to contain the blaze, which broke out on about 3/4 of an acre, and is on Forest Service land. The Forest Service is the lead agency in command, and crews are making good progress, according to a post from the Gypsum Fire Protection District.
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.
An Eagle County alert has advised residents that the large amount of smoke in the air is from the larger fires in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
The smoke plume from the fire burning on Cottonwood Pass is very small. The fire 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.
Cottonwood Pass is closed from both Gypsum and El Jebel, and motorists are advised to avoid the area. Drones are also prohibited in fire areas.
Currently in Colorado there is only one wildfire burning. The Beaver Tail fire is seven miles northeast of Palisade and has burned 463 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. It is 90% contained.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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