Red flag warning in place again; new fires near Hotchkiss

For the second day in a row, the Grand Valley and much of western Colorado are under a red flag warning until 8 p.m. today, as dry conditions and winds are creating ripe conditions for wildfire, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Winds could gust as high as 40 mph, forecasters said.

A pair of new fires near Hotchkiss have joined a 1,000-acre wildfire burning north of Rifle. The Hotchkiss-area fires — one is known as the Oak Mesa Fire, the other as the Chaining Fire — were reported today and are believed to have been caused by lightning, according to the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit.

The Oak Mesa Fire is estimated at just a tenth of an acre and is expected to be fully contained Saturday. The Chaining Fire has burned about 4 acres. Neither blaze is threatening any structures.


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