Buster Flats fire continues to smolder near monument


naccessible cliffs keep the Buster Flats Fire from becoming 100 percent contained.

Fire officials had hoped for complete containment Tues-day, but hot spots, places where the fire continues to smolder, remain on cliffs on the west side of Lodore Canyon in Dino-saur National Monument.

Officials have yet to set a date when they expect full containment but have reduced the firefighting force.

As of Tuesday, the fire was 95 percent contained.

According to Incident Team Commander Dave Sisk, helicopters will continue to drop water on the hot areas. Remaining firefighters are expect to stay in the area at least until Thursday, working to ensure the fire is completely extinguished.

Three helicopters, two firefighting crews and about 30 overhead support personnel remain assigned to the incident.

Some hot spots are burning far inside the fire area and do not threaten to jump the containment ring.

Fire danger in Moffat County and the Three Corners area will remain high until there is significant precipitation. Officials said local resource personnel will continue to monitor the fire and assist with any new fires, should they start.

Thunderstorms over the past week have been spotty in the fire area and have not provided substantial moisture to extinguish remaining flames. The weather is expected to change back to hotter temperatures and lower humidity.

Suppression of the fire, which began July 3, is expected to cost $1.2 million.

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