Crews have all but corralled several wildfires that have been burning in Rio Blanco County.

The fires have been virtually or completely contained, according to an update from the NW Incident Management Team 11, which is heading up the effort to fight the fires.

Also, the Bureau of Land Management is easing and, in some cases, lifting fire restrictions in lands under the jurisdiction of its Gunnison and Uncompahgre Field Offices because of rainfall in the area.

In Rio Blanco County, the Fawn Fire, which has burned 1,073 acres about 30 miles southwest of Meeker, is now 97 percent contained, authorities say.

The Sprague Fire 20 miles southwest of Meeker, which started Monday because of lightning and has burned 91 acres, also is 97 percent contained. Full containment is expected within days.

The Smith Fire eight miles north of Meeker is 100 percent contained, and its cause remains under investigation. The Ridgetop Fire, which started July 7 and has burned nearly 144 acres, is 98 percent contained.

"Fire crews and heavy equipment continue to move through the fire area and within the community of Meeker. The public is urged to drive with caution as crews work to suppress the fires in the area," the incident management team said in its release.

"Even though we have received rainfall over the last few days, fire danger remains extremely high across the state. Be sure to check with your local fire agencies for restrictions and for forest and state closures."

On Friday, the BLM lifted fire restrictions altogether for lands managed by the Gunnison Field Office within San Juan and Hinsdale counties after significant moisture was received at high elevations.

Also Friday, the BLM said it will move to lower, Stage 1 fire restrictions at noon Monday within the Uncompahgre Field Office and where fire restrictions still remain in place within the Gunnison Field Office.

"Recent weather patterns have brought much-needed moisture to the area," Brandon Lewis, fire management officer for the Southwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit, said in a news release.

"The fire danger criteria are slowly beginning to rebound and our fuels appear to be recovering; however, the potential for fire remains and I encourage public land users to be responsible."

Under Stage 1 restrictions, fires can be built only within a permanent constructed fire grate in a developed campground or recreation site, or an improved site, the BLM said.

Smoking is limited to enclosed vehicles or buildings, developed campgrounds or recreation sites, or while stopped in areas at least 3 feet in diameter that are barren or cleared of flammable materials.

Use of exploding targets is prohibited.

Meanwhile, the Lake Christine Fire near Basalt has burned about 6,600 acres and is 56 percent contained.

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