Uncompahgre fires burn undergrowth

SPECIALTO THE SENTINEL—The Bench Fire, one of two fires that were started recently by lightning on the Uncompahgre Plateau, burned more than 30 acres by Tuesday.

No structures or private land was threatened as two small lightning-caused wildfires continue to burn on the Uncompahgre Plateau.

The Bench Fire, first reported Saturday, had burned 34 acres and was burning southward Tuesday in manzanita and oak brush amid ponderosa pine, according to a news release from Lee Ann Loupe with the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.

The Corral Forks Fire, reported Thursday, was less than an acre and burned in manzanita, oak brush and scattered ponderosa pine.

Both fires were being managed to reduce brush and undergrowth in the area, Loupe said.

Smoke from the Bench Fire was visible from Gateway, Divide Road on the Uncompahgre Plateau, and Utah.

The Corral Forks fire had not grown since first reported and was emitting minimal smoke, the news release added.

Rain that was forecast for today and Thursday was expected to help contain or extinguish the Corral Forks fire this week and may dampen the Bench Fire as well.


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