Wildfire burns near homes in Mesa County | SummitDaily.com

Wildfire burns near homes in Mesa County

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PALISADE ” Crews battled a 426-acre wildfire in rugged terrain at the base of Grand Mesa that fire managers said was a potential threat to nine homes and 18 outbuildings.

The homes, about a half-mile south of the fire, were not in imminent danger and no one was evacuated, said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Melodie Lloyd.

Firefighters were working to keep the fire out of watersheds that supply drinking water to Palisade and Grand Junction.

“There is a good potential for containment today if the weather will cooperate, and it looks like it will,” Lloyd said.

The fire, burning in grass, brush and trees, started late Tuesday on private land and spread to BLM land Wednesday.

More than 140 firefighters, two helicopters, 12 engines, one bulldozer and two water tenders were on scene.

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Firefighters were managing a 300-acre wildfire for ecological restoration about 22 miles north of Steamboat Springs. The fire, started by lightning on Monday, is burning in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, where numerous trails have been closed.

Larry Helmerick of the interagency Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center said three new wildfires were reported in Colorado Wednesday, burning 49 acres, but all were contained quickly.

He urged residents to be cautious over the Labor Day weekend, especially in western Colorado. “We still have fire danger, and people can’t let their guard down,” he said.

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On the Net:

Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/fire/rmacc.html

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