Wildfires continue to scorch Northwest Colorado

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Courtesy photo

This photo shows the charred swath that the Wild Rose Fire cut through the once-green hills southwest of Texas Mountain.

— Firefighters continue to battle blazes across Northwestern Colorado as high winds hamper efforts to contain the spreading flames.

The Wild Rose Fire southwest of Texas Mountain in Rio Blanco County has grown to 1,065 acres. Burning since Wednesday, the 360-person fire crew on the scene has contained 10 percent of the fire.

Forty-six structures are threatened by the Wild Rose Fire in addition to 40 oil and gas wells and compressor sites. The Mountain Home Youth Camp was evacuated safely Wednesday.

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team took charge of the scene Friday. Five Hot Shots crews and four hand crews used 11 engines, give helicopters and two air tankers in their battle against the tenacious blaze.

The closure of Rio Blanco County Road 116 has been lifted at Colorado Highway 139, but the road to Texas Mountain, C.R. 113 and C.R. 107 between Colorado Highway 139 and C.R. 116 still are closed.

The Incident Management Team also has taken charge of the Collins Fire, 17 miles southwest of Meeker. That wildfire has grown to 379 acres, and is 10 percent contained.

Seven hand crews and three helicopter crews, along with various support staff, are fighting the blaze with the aid of two helicopters and four engines.

The north-northeasterly path of the flames is threatening power lines, but the fire is moving in the opposite direction of the only structure in the area, a primary residence just 1 1/2 miles from the edge of the fire.

The Brush Creek Fire about 10 miles north of Rifle has been burning since Thursday, and has grown to 400 acres with the help of 20 mph winds. There are no structures in the area.

One Hotshot crew, one hand crew and two initial attack crews have eight engines and two helicopters at their disposal. In all, 91 fire crew personnel are at the scene and hope to take advantage of calmer winds overnight Saturday.

The small, one-quarter acre Razorback Fire near Willow Creek has been contained and controlled by one responding crew.

The previously active Ryan, Rope and Lime fires have been contained and are in “mop-up mode,” according to an update posted to the management team’s website.

Fire crews were dispatched to a small brush fire off Colorado Highway 13 in Moffat County on Saturday evening and quickly extinguished the small hot spot.

Andie Tessler can be contacted at 970-875-1793 or atessler@CraigDailyPress.com

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