Fire singes area west of Fruita

A pair of firefighters make their way along the closed westbound lanes of I-70 as they work to put out hot spots and keep a wildfire west of Fruita from spreading. The fire burned along a quarter mile of the north side of interstate and jumped to the south side in spots.

A Colorado State Patrol trooper cruises west on I-70 past burning brush and trees as a fire west of Fruita consumes the area Sunday.

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A brush fire south of Highway 6&50 near 15 Road billowed orange smoke toward Fruita and temporarily closed part of Interstate 70 on Sunday.

The fire stretched from the old Fruita refinery to Interstate 70, growing to 35 acres by 9 p.m., according to Grand Junction Fire Department spokesman Mike Page. The fire began around 6 p.m.

Flames reached the median of Interstate 70 and consumed some brush south of the interstate before firefighters contained the fire to the north side of the interstate.

Westbound lanes of Interstate 70 were closed temporarily as firefighters doused flames in the median and on the south edge of the interstate, Page said.

The fire damaged a water line and some power lines and threatened a small structure, which was saved.

“I think they feel pretty comfortable they have the fire contained, so long as the wind doesn’t pick up,” Page said.

Bureau of Land Management, Grand Junction and Lower Valley Fire firefighters as well as the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department responded to the fire. BLM firefighters also helped put out a nearby fire south of the brush fire.

Lightning is the suspected, but unconfirmed, cause of the fire. No one was hurt in the fire.

A Moon Basin area fire had consumed 27 acres of land southeast of Gateway by Sunday evening, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The fire is being managed rather than contained. The fire started Friday with a lightning strike.


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