Fires slow over weekend


Two separate fires in Northwest Colorado burned quietly during the weekend, because of calmer winds and relatively higher humidity levels, said Marty O'Toole, a spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management at the White River Field Office.

The Cross Fire, which started from a lightning strike Thursday, in the Cross Mountain Wilderness Study Area about 40 miles west of Craig, is burning 45 acres, up 15 acres from Friday. Fire crews are using natural boundary suppression techniques such as cliffs and ridges to contain the fire, O'Toole said.

The state's largest fire, 13 miles west of Meeker, is listed at 7,460 acres, which is up almost 700 acres from Friday.

Fire crews have made progress on the Greasewood Fire by clearing brush from around power poles, buildings and roadways. Rio Blanco County roads 66, 22 and 127 have been reopened. They were closed when the fire was started by a lighting strike June 3.

There are 14 buildings, six of which are residences that are listed as threatened by the fire, O'Toole said.

"That could be a concern if the fire acts up again," he said.

No families have had to be evacuated because of the fire.

Hot and windy weather predicted for Sunday and today could cause the blaze to spark up again, O'Toole said.

The Greasewood Fire is being allowed to burn within boundaries until it extinguishes itself. That timetable may be in a few days if precipitation falls, or linger on into the fall if dry conditions exist, he said.

"We want to give it every opportunity to burn," O'Toole said.

That the Greasewood Fire is the largest in the state and was producing no smoke Saturday is an indication of how slowly the fire season has started this year, he said.

"The conditions are right for fire right now, but it will take that spark to make it happen, if it does," O'Toole said.

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