Dominguez Fire worst of 3 burning in region; Norwood fire contained

Rising smoke cloud from the Dominguez fire

Western Colorado has been the most active part of the state this wildfire season, but officials said no injuries or destroyed structures have been reported so far.

On Saturday, officials updated the status of three wildfires burning in Mesa and Montrose counties.

The Moon Fire, reported Friday night 14 miles southeast of Gateway, was started by a lightning strike and burned 28 acres by Saturday night, said Larry Helmerick, spokesman for the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit.

The fire is burning on Bureau of Land Management land. The fire will be monitored and may be suppressed on the south and east sides, Helmerick said. No structures are threatened, he said.

The Dominguez Fire, which began July 10 after a lightning strike, burned 800 acres by Saturday night and was expected to grow, said Lee Ann Loupe, spokeswoman for Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management.

The Dominguez Fire is burning on U.S. Forest Service land. Smoke from the fire is visible from U.S. Highway 50 and Grand Junction, but the fire is not threatening structures, Loupe said.

The fire will be allowed to burn but within a broad set of parameters, she said. 

The Dominguez Campground is open, but the road past the campground is closed. Forest Service roads 418 and 408 also are closed.

The Grammar Fire, which started July 14 after a lightning strike, forced the evacuation of 20 homes several days ago near Norwood. However, the fire was fully contained by 6 p.m. Saturday and was no longer threatening structures, Helmerick said.

Because western Colorado is the most active part of the state in terms of the number of wildfires being fought or monitored, Helmerick reminded residents to be sure all campfires and smoking materials are extinguished when leaving a campsite or yard.

Nationally, 75 percent of wildfires are started by humans, Helmerick said. However, in western Colorado only 3 percent of wildfires through the years were started by humans, and fire officials want to keep it that way, Helmerick said.


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