Fire in monument spreads

DINOSAUR, Colo. (AP) Nearly 70 firefighters were en route Wednesday to battle a fast-growing wildfire burning on nearly 1,200 acres of federal land.

The lightning-sparked Ecklund fire 20 miles north of Dinosaur, burning in the Dinosaur National Monument and on Bureau of Land Management land, was reported Tuesday, burning on about 2 acres. It had spread to about 1,180 acres by Wednesday.

''It grew fast. It was those heavy winds we had yesterday,'' Cathy Hutton, a manager at the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center, said Wednesday.

About 60 percent of the fire was burning in the Diamond Breaks Wilderness Study Area managed by the BLM. The rest was burning in the monument. No structures were believed to be threatened, she said.

The spread of the fire was slowed when it burned into area where the 11,000-acre Buster Flats fire burned last year.

Another blaze, the Davis Draw fire, was burning about five miles north of the Ecklund fire on 30 acres of the wilderness study area.

Firefighters were mapping the fires by air Wednesday. A couple of engines were also assigned to monitor the blazes.

Meanwhile, fire officials ordered three crews of firefighters and a fire-management team to attack the blaze. They were expected to arrive by evening.

Hutton said the fire was burning in inaccessible areas, and crews would likely have to be flown in by helicopter.

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