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Wildfire raging north of Glenwood

Tim Mutrie

Firefighters planned to work through the night into Monday in hopes of containing a large wildfire that broke out sometime Sunday on national forest land about 12 miles north of Glenwood Springs.

Centered in a mountainous region of the White River National Forest near the confluence of Grizzly Creek and South Grizzly Creek, the fire spanned some 360 acres at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Tom Cary, Air Center Manager with the United States Forest Service (USFS).

“The fire’s in steep, inaccessible terrain and it’s burning standing timber, and that’s going to make it much more difficult to contain,” Cary said last night. “It’s a volatile situation.”

“We’re currently working it with a 20-person crew and two to three air tankers and helicopters,” Cary continued. “We’ve been working it all afternoon.”

Additionally, the USFS dropped eight smoke jumpers into the region yesterday afternoon, he said.

There have been no reported injuries related to the blaze, he said.

“We have no estimate on containment or control,” he added.

Cary said approximately 250 firefighters have been called in to help fight the blaze, as well as additional air support.

The fire was reported to authorities by a 911 call at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We suspect it’s a lightening holdover,” Cary said, explaining that lightening strikes can smolder for days before actually igniting large-scale wildfires.

Yesterday, the fire danger rating in the White River National Forest was listed as “high to extreme,” Cary said. On Friday, a burn ban instituted over a month ago – restricting open fires in the White River National Forest – was lifted.


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