Fires partially contained |

Fires partially contained

Portions of blazes allowed to burn to benefit habitat

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

During the weekend, fire crews continued to battle two blazes that started last week.

A fire on Split Mountain, located about three miles north of Dinosaur National Monument’s temporary visitor’s center in Utah, was 50 percent contained Sunday, the U.S. National Park Service reported in a news release.

“The north and west perimeter of the Split Top Fire on Split Mountain has been suppressed due to its close proximity to the monument boundary with the Bureau of Land Management,” the Park Service reported. “The east and south perimeter of the fire is being allowed to burn, much as fire historically has in the area, to benefit plant and wildlife communities.”

A lightning strike started the fire Aug. 25. So far, it has burned 425 acres and has cost $35,794 to fight. The fire has threatened no structures, so far, and Park Service officials have yet to determine an estimated full containment date.

A total of 19 resources were assigned to the fire, including a helicopter.

As of Sunday, no closures were in place at Dinosaur National Monument.

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Crews fighting the Jordan Fire in Rio Blanco County also are allowing portions of the fire to burn to benefit the surrounding habitat.

“Personnel continue to hold and secure the east side of the fire that is nearest to private property and infrastructure,” the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit reported in a news release. “On the west side, the fire is being allowed to burn for resource benefits : (including) habitat improvement, hazardous fuel reduction and healthy ecosystem restoration.”

The fire is located seven miles northwest of Meeker in the Windy Gulch Wilderness Study Area. As of Sunday, Fire Management Unit officials estimated the fire had consumed 971 acres and was 50 percent contained.

“The percentage contained reflects the portion of the fire where suppression actions are being taken on the east side to stop fire spread,” the news release reported. “The containment information will not include other areas of the fire that are being managed for resource benefits.”