Winds expected to again kick up wildfire

More strong winds in the forecast today are expected to fan the flames of a 500-acrea wildfire that broke out Wednesday 15 miles north of Rifle.

Crews are using a heavy helicopter, two single-engine air tankers and about 75 firefighters to fight the fire, and more aircraft are expected today, Bureau of Land Management spokesman David Boyd said in a news release.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation. Driven by high winds Wednesday, it burned from Colorado Highway 13 onto the rugged, steep Grand Hogback ridge, in an area with no roads. The fire is about nine miles from Rifle Gap Reservoir.

There are homes on each side of the Grand Hogback, but no homes or other structures are immediately threatened and no evacuations have occurred.

“The fire shows that there is still a high fire danger out there, so people need to continue to be careful with fire,” Boyd said in the release.

The fire is burning in piñon-juniper, oak brush and mixed-conifer vegetation. Winds exceeding 15 mph are forecast for today.



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