Firefighters gain on western Colorado blazes

Crews have made considerable headway fighting several western Colorado wildfires.

The Peekaboo Fire west of Craig was two-thirds contained by Tuesday morning, according to the interagency InciWeb incident reporting system. The fire has burned nearly 13,000 acres.

On Tuesday, crews were to begin pulling fire hose that was placed for structure protection on the fire’s south edge, as they start demobilizing as containment increased. Management of the fire was to transition at midnight Tuesday from a Type 2 team designed to respond to major fires, to a smaller, more localized Type 3 team.

The fire was started by lightning June 27. InciWeb said 378 people were fighting it as of Tuesday morning.

Lightning also was the cause of the Wilson Fire nine miles north of Meeker, which began Friday and remained at about 300 acres as of Tuesday morning. Fire spokesperson Lori Iverson said crews were able to do a burnout operation designed to remove vegetative fuels Tuesday.

“The fire behavior was moderated by cloud cover and higher humidity than we’ve had during the past few days,” said Iverson, who said some rain fell Monday and Tuesday.

The fire is listed as only 15 percent contained, and 146 people are fighting it.

Some 45 people are fighting the smaller Deer Gulch Fire, which started Saturday and has burned 43 acres off Rio Blanco County Road 5 south of Meeker. It’s 50 percent contained. Most of it is on Bureau of Land Management lands, and no structures are threatened.

Northeast of Eagle, work fighting the 974-acre Gutzler Fire is winding down, and the BLM plans to reopen the boat ramp and campground at Radium on the Colorado River on Thursday.

Work also continues on the 689-acre East Rim Fire, which was caused by lightning July 2 northeast of Dove Creek in southwest Colorado. As of early this week, 28 people were fighting it and it was 25 percent contained.


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