Lightning sparks new fires |

Lightning sparks new fires

Josh Nichols

A wildfire broke this weekend 28 miles northwest of Meeker at Pinyon Ridge and fire fighters are still working to contain it. Officials say lightning started the blaze.

The fire, burning in old growth piand juniper trees on BLM and state land, has scorched more than 1,200 acres in the area.

Diann Pipher, fire information officer with the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center, said the firefighters project to have the blaze contained by Wednesday.

So far 15 percent of the fire has been contained.

Right now 33 firefighters are fighting the blaze, but additional help will arrive at the scene Tuesday, Pipher said.

The team coming to assist in the blaze is a Type II team, she said. There are three team types. Type I teams are used to fight the largest fires.

“Resources are pretty scarce right now because most firefighters are at the larger fires,” she said. “The wind is still a problem and fuels are continuing to dry out. These things all contribute to extreme fire behavior.”

The fire is burning in a remote area, Pipher said, and she encouraged people to stay away from it.

“Right now safety is our highest priority,” she said. “We would appreciate it if people didn’t go look at the fires.”

So far no homes have had to be evacuated in the area and no structures are threatened.

The only road closing is BLM Road 1509.

Other fires that broke this weekend include an 18-acre fire five miles east of Rangely in the Calamity Ridge area and a 15-acre fire 18 miles southeast of Rangely.

“We are just trying to hold our own due to very limited resources,” said Cliff Hutton, Craig/Routt Fire Management Unit Operations officer. “Hopefully we can catch the fires early and keep them small.”

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