UPDATE: Crews near full containment on I-70 fire west of Glenwood Springs; interstate reopens
August 8, 2018
At approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a wildfire ignited near mile marker 112, just in front of exit 111 in South Canyon. The fire spread quickly up the slope on the north side of I-70, putting Ami's Acres Campground and Mitchell Creek on pre-evacuation notice, according to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office. Both areas are east of the fire.
Responders from various agencies converged on the site, which forced a closure of both westbound lanes on I-70, as well as both eastbound lanes on I-70 for roughly an hour.
As of 5 p.m., one lane heading westbound has opened to traffic, according to CDOT.
At about 6 p.m. a fire department employee said the fire was 95 percent contained and had burned three to four acres. Fire department officials said the cause is still unknown.
The closures were initiated to allow fire equipment and responders to access the area.
A helicopter was called in for aerial support and water bucket drops on the fire. The water is currently being taken from the Colorado River immediately adjoining I-70 in the area. The efforts of the local firefighters have allowed reasonable control of the existing fire area and have stopped the previous spread, according to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office.
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Operations are expected to continue into the night to minimize the possibility of any flare-ups.
There is no current information on the cause of the fire.
A concerned Craig Amichaux, Ami's Acres Campground owner, watched as the helicopter dipped into the Colorado River near the campground to dump water on the fire that sparked a little too close to home.
By 4:00 p.m., he said he was feeling a little bit better, but that they weren't out of the woods yet.
Citizen Telegram editor Alex Zorn contributed to this report.