Two fires continue to burn in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties |

Two fires continue to burn in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties

Erin Fenner
The Citadel fire has burned more than 1,600 acres.
Courtesy Photo

The two fires that flared up last weekend due to lightning strikes are still burning.

About 20 miles south of Maybell, the Citadel Fire — located in Moffat County —started Sunday morning. It has burned roughly 2,000 acres of land. The East Tschuddi fire started Saturday and has burned around 440 acres and had threaten a historical Parks and Wilderness cabin about 16 miles northwest of Meeker. The Tschuddi fire is in Rio Blanco.

Bureau of Land Management Spokeswoman Lynn Barclay said that the Citadel Fire was unpredictable.

The latest reports stated that as of Monday, the fire behavior wasn’t as severe as it was over the weekend. It’s currently about 10 percent contained. The East Tschuddi Fire is about 25 percent contained.

“There were shifting winds, dry vegetation and they way the drainage was: It was going multiple directions,” Barclay said.

On Sunday, eight smokejumpers began fighting the fire, but now 60 people are working to contain the blaze.

Both fires are located on steep and rugged terrain and are burning pinon, juniper and sagebrush.

Access to both fires has been difficult because of their location, officials said. Two helicopters and five air tankers have been dumping retardant on both fires.

Air resources are working with ground fire crews and started to build containment lines on the fires.

Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794

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