Update: Williams Fire south of Heeney is 90% contained
7:15 p.m.: Firefighters made considerable progress on the Williams Fire south of Heeney Sunday, Aug. 15, and the blaze is about 90% contained, according to District Ranger Adam Bianchi.
The small wildfire ignited Saturday, Aug. 14, on the east side of Colorado Highway 9 between Williams Peak and Chokecherry Gulch south of Green Mountain Reservoir. The fire remained calm overnight, and firefighters reengaged it Sunday morning.
“It was actually a really good day,” Bianchi said. “We had about 15 personnel out there and the use of a Type 3, smaller helicopter. There is quite a bit of heat still toward the middle of the fire with a lot of big, downed logs and dead timber. They really focused on removing a lot of heat from the interior of the fire today.”
While firefighters continue working to douse hot spots in the middle of the fire, they were able to create containment lines around a large majority of the blaze. Bianchi said that most of the resources on the fire would be released, and only a small crew would be left to mop up Monday, Aug. 16.
“Things are looking really good, and we hope that by the end of the day (Monday) or the next to have it completely contained and controlled,” Bianchi said.
Bianchi continued to say that the fire hasn’t grown since the initial report, and it is still burning about 1-2 acres. While no official cause has been determined, Bianchi said he felt confident lightning caused the fire.
“I feel pretty comfortable calling it that,” Bianchi said. “… It’s really off the beaten path. Off of pavement, it’s a good two-hour trip just to get to the fire line from the highway. The odds of it being human caused are probably pretty unlikely.”
Firefighters continue to work on a small wildfire that ignited south of Heeney Saturday afternoon, Aug. 14. There are still no structures in the area being threatened, and there are no evacuation orders in place.
The U.S. Forest Service is now calling the wildfire the Williams Fire.
In an update from the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit Sunday morning, Aug. 15, officials said the fire did not grow Saturday night and is still burning about 1-2 acres of U.S. Forest Service land between Williams Peak and Chokecherry Gulch south of Green Mountain Reservoir. The fire is burning in a mix of live spruce, fir and lodgepole pine trees.
The fire area received some light precipitation overnight, which helped to keep fire activity moderate. Though, the fire activity is expected to increase as temperatures and wind increase into Sunday afternoon, according to the fire management unit.
About 15 firefighters from the Arapaho-Roosevelt and White River national forests will be working throughout the day to build containment lines around the fire perimeter. A helicopter will also be providing air support.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe it was likely caused by lightning.
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