Greasewood fire up to 7,200 acres

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The Greasewood fire 13 miles west of Meeker grew from 6,800 acres to about 7,200 acres Thursday while the Cross Fire 40 miles west of Craig did not spread beyond the 30 acres it burned Wednesday, said Diann Ritschard, Forest Service information officer.

Lower temperatures and partly cloudy skies dominated the weather Thursday. The Greasewood fire crept along the ground and burst into a few short runs, Ritschard reported at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Two reports of smoke in the Maybell area also were being investigated, Ritschard said. Such reports often turn out to be single-tree lightning fires, but Thursday's reports of smoke had yet to be confirmed.

A Bureau of Land Management crew with one engine was continuing to manage the Cross Fire on Thursday. The crew is using natural barriers to help contain the flames.

A fire-use management team took over management Thursday of the Greasewood fire, which is burning in an area where fire is thought to be beneficial, Ritschard said. Such benefits include fuel reduction, natural fire breaks, rejuvenated natural vegetation and wildlife habitat.

The new management team is working to protect a large transmission power line in the area, including creating a fuel break to prevent the flames from reaching it. Eight fire engines, four bulldozers and two water tenders are on the scene. The team also is using a helicopter for reconnaissance and mapping.

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