Fire east of Montrose requires Type 2 team

The East Fork Fire near Montrose was burning about 400 acres as of Sunday morning.

Most fires in the western Colorado region were kept in check Sunday, with lesser winds blowing in the area.

The East Fork Fire, near Silver Jack Reservoir east of Montrose, maintained its size at about 400 acres Sunday, according to Rick Barton, fire information officer with the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.

The fire, though, is zero-contained and complex enough so that a larger, more resource-rich Type 2 Incident Management Team is set to take command at 6 a.m. this morning.

“It’s spotting so much that we can’t get in front of it,” Barton said Sunday evening, adding that they had 110 people on the fire Sunday, including three 20-person crews, eight engines and two heavy-sized helicopters dropping 1,000-gallon water loads.

Much of the day was spent clearing space around cabins and other structures in the area. None has been lost, Barton said.

He said that the larger incident team is coming in because the fire is outgrowing what the local response teams can provide.

“When a fire gets more complex, like this one is, it’s more drawn-out. It’s going to take a number of days, maybe even weeks, before we can really put it to bed,” Barton said.

The Brush Creek Fire about 10 miles north of Rifle on Bureau of Land Management land also maintained its size Sunday.

The 400-acre fire was 40 percent contained as of Sunday evening. About 150 firefighters and four helicopters have worked to contain the blaze, and no structures are immediately threatened.

Rifle Gap State Park is partially closed to boating because of the helicopter activity.

The Wild Rose Fire, burning 21 miles south of Rangely in remote oil and gas country, is more than 1,000 acres. But fire officials say it’s 95 percent contained. They expected the fire to be fully contained by midnight Sunday.


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