Red Canyon Fire sparks containment effort; Indian Valley Fire at 80-percent containment |

Red Canyon Fire sparks containment effort; Indian Valley Fire at 80-percent containment

Craig Press staff report

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

RANGELY — Firefighters mobilized to Red Canyon on Sunday, July 29, after lightning sparked a new blaze, even as containment efforts on the Indian Valley Fire are seeing success.

The Red Canyon Fire, located 31 miles south of Rangley, has burned 3,075 acres, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The fire is burning in remote, rugged, mountainous terrain in heavy stands of brush and timber. Firefighters created a defensible space and removed hazardous fuels near residents and other structures and identified roads and natural features that could be used as containment lines.

The following roads closures and evacuation orders went into effect Wednesday to protect the safety of firefighters and the public.

• Rio Blanco County Road 27 at Colorado Highway 139

• RBCR 256 at Douglas Pass

• RBCR 27 south from its intersection with RBCR 28 is being evacuated today

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Additional road and area closures are likely, the BLM reported, and air space over the fire is restricted. Drone operators are reminded to not fly over the fire.

The Indian Valley fire, located 16 miles northwest of Meeker, is about 80 percent contained and has burned 6,310 acres since it was reported July 20. This fire was also caused by lightning.

Fire managers are happy with the progress on the Indian Valley Fire. Fire activity has moderated, giving firefighters a chance to secure containment lines, mop up hot spots and repair suppression impacts. Air support remains available to respond, if needed.

Heavy equipment will be operating on roads in the vicinity of Indian Valley Road, and widespread smoke from large wildfires in Colorado and other western states prompted issuance of an air quality advisory Tuesday.