Red Canyon Fire burn continues, repairs start on Indian Valley Fire | CraigDailyPress.com

Red Canyon Fire burn continues, repairs start on Indian Valley Fire

The Indian Valley Fire burns in Rio Blanco County July 20.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

RANGLEY – Warm, dry weather with a side of gusty winds helped feed the Red Canyon Fire, located 31 miles south of Rangely.

The fire continues to burn and has claimed 5,600 acres of land. Containment is negligible.

A small fire near the primary containment line crossed Rio Blanco County Road 27, but was quickly extinguished by ground crews and air attack resources, according to a Bureau of Land Management news release. Crews were able to conduct burnout operations along RBCR 27 in an effort to protect residents in Brush Creek and Crystal Springs near Josh’s Canyon.

Preparation work is occurring to protect multiple structures along Colorado Highway 139 and the FAA tower south of the fire area. More than 25 natural gas well heads were shut down, and pipelines in the vicinity of the fire were cleared to allow firefighters to safely work in the area.

The BLM has issued an area closure for the Red Canyon fire area affecting the following areas.

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• Northern closure —  Colo. Highway 139/RBCR 27 to RBCR 27/RBCR 28.

• Eastern closure: RBCR 28/RBCR 257 to RBCR 256/RBCR 257.

• Southern closure: RBCR 256/RBCR 257 to Colo. Highway 139.

• Western closure: RBCR256/Colo Highway 139 to Colo. Highway 139/RBCR 27

The BLM has temporary closed public lands and routes in Rio Blanco and Garfield counties within the area of the Red Canyon Fire to ensure public safety and reduce damage to the land. The temporary closure only affects public lands and routes managed by the BLM White River and Grand Junction field offices.

Anyone who violates this closure may be tried before the United State Magistrate and fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned up to 12 months or both.

Indian Valley Fire

The Indian Valley Fire, located 16 miles northwest of Meeker, is at 95 percent containment and has burned 6,310 acres.

Resources from the Indian Valley Fire were to be moved to the Red Canyon Fire on Thursday. Two engines will continue to patrol, mop up hot spots, and repair impacts from fire suppression activities. Drivers are advised to continue to watch for heavy equipment operating on roads in the vicinity.

Stage 2 fire restrictions are set to be be implemented Friday, Aug. 3, on BLM lands in the White River Field Office. Rio Blanco County will implement similar restrictions, and Moffat County will consider moving into Stage 2 fire restriction, according to Sheriff KC Hume.