Homes near Meeker fire not at risk

Firefighters battling the two biggest wildfires in the region are taking advantage of the recent rain and the humidity that has settled in.

The lightning-caused Powell Fire that started Thursday is burning on nearly 900 acres about five miles northwest of Meeker. The Little Duck Fire, which also was started by lightning Friday, is burning on about 750 acres 13 miles southwest of Rangely.

“(The weather) gave the firefighters a leg up,” said Sue Valente with the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit. “Even the humidity in the air helped moderate the fire behavior.”

The Powell Fire is 70 percent contained, and firefighters have nearly created a fire line around the perimeter, Valente said. She said firefighters are hesitant to claim more progress on containment because some hot spots are burning aggressively inside the containment line.

As of Monday, about 100 firefighters, five engines and two helicopters were working to contain the blaze. The fire is burning on private property and Bureau of Land Management land.

The nearest structures are about five miles northeast of the fire in the Strawberry Patch subdivision; however, those homes, which are situated on multiacre lots, are not threatened, Valente said.

The Little Duck Fire did not grow Monday and is 55 percent contained. The blaze is burning on a mixture of BLM and private land.

Fire managers are most concerned about the fire’s impact on power lines, Shell infrastructure, greater sage-grouse habitat, and threatened and endangered plants in the area.

Firefighters believe they will have the fire contained behind a fire line by today, Valente said.

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit also reported:

■ The Conway Fire remained constant, burning on 250 acres less than two miles east of Dinosaur National Park.

■ The Brush Creek Fire has remained steady, burning on 500 acres about 30 miles southwest of Rangely. The fire was 50 percent contained Monday.

According to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit:

■ The Long Mesa Fire was miscalculated Sunday at 460 acres. After further mapping, fire managers said it is burning on 150 acres. The blaze is burning on BLM land in the Black Canyon Wilderness Area south of the Colorado River between Fruita and the Utah line.


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