Firefighters contain Bull Canyon Fire near Dinosaur | CraigDailyPress.com

Firefighters contain Bull Canyon Fire near Dinosaur

Wind, lightning have helped ignite Northwest Colorado blazes

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

The Bull Canyon Fire, photographed above by an air crew, burns near Dinosaur in Moffat County. The fire was 100 percent contained Saturday evening after starting Friday afternoon.

Firefighters have fully contained the Bull Canyon Fire on Bureau of Land Management property five miles north of the town of Dinosaur and 10 miles south of Dinosaur National Monument. Originally estimated to be about 50 acres, GPS measurements showed the fire to peak at 35 acres.

According to a press release from Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, the fire was reported midday Friday and was 100 percent contained by Saturday night. Hot, dry conditions and erratic winds from passing thunderstorms pushed the fire continually throughout the afternoon. Teams from the Craig Interagency Hot Shot crew, Roosevelt (Utah) IHC and one air attack plane took on the flames.

The fire management unit release said the area received about 500 lightning strikes that added to the situation.

The Bear Fire, 10 miles northwest of Lay in Moffat County, was reported Saturday afternoon and was quickly contained the same evening. Lightning was the ignition source of this incident on private land. One BLM engine responded.

The Red Dirt Fire burned more actively Saturday afternoon due to gusty winds and produced more smoke. The engine on scene reported fire activity died down later in the day with no control issues. Crews continued to secure the northeast corner of the perimeter keeping the fire from advancing onto private land and meeting management objectives. The fire is at 17 acres as of Sunday morning. Located about 23 miles southwest of Maybell near Elk Springs on BLM land, the blaze is still being managed as of Sunday afternoon to allow fire to play its natural role on the land. Benefits include regeneration of vegetation and removal of encroaching pinion and juniper trees.

Hay Canyon Fire, also being managed for resource benefit, is about five acres. Fire personnel finished reinforcing the north flank Saturday and continue to monitor fire activity. Hay Canyon Fire is about 30 miles west of Meeker on BLM land.

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Friday’s storms also ignited the Bar Fire about 27 miles southwest of Meeker on BLM land. The fire was contained at one-quarter acre.