Red Canyon fire near Glenwood Springs spurs evacuation orders for nearby residents |

Red Canyon fire near Glenwood Springs spurs evacuation orders for nearby residents

David Bowers / Red Cliff Photography

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A wildfire southeast of Glenwood Springs that began on Monday afternoon has now grown to more than 250 acres as of about 4:30 p.m., and has prompted evacuation orders to the east and north of the fire for the first time since the incident began, according to fire and law enforcement officials.

According to Garfield County Sheriff’s deputy Walt Stowe, public information officer for the fire, the blaze made an unexpected run to the north and east during the afternoon, consuming up to 40 acres of terrain as it did so.

Stowe, in a news release issued at about 4 p.m., reported that evacuees will be asked to go to the Roaring Fork High School building in Carbondale, while evacuated livestock will be sent to the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle.

Known as the Red Canyon fire, the blaze began in a juniper-pinyon forest at the top of Red Canyon Road on Monday afternoon, and is believed to have been caused by lightning, though that has not yet been confirmed.

According to Stowe, there are approximately 60 men and women fighting the fire today, and more are due later in the afternoon or evening when firefighting crews from minimum-security prisons at Rifle and Buena Vista are expected to pitch in along with a Type II Fire Supression Team from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A spokeswoman for the Carbondale fire department, who has been maintaining a running account of firefighting efforts on the department’s Twitter page (twitter@carbondalefire), said Tuesday morning there were approximately 10 fire vehicles and apparatus at the scene.

Stowe, in a fire update released at 12:15 p.m., reported that the fire had been attacked from the air as well as the ground, and that it is burning in an area that is “steep with heavy fuels of juniper and pine.

Authorities at about noon Tuesday cautioned motorists on Highway 82 that there would be “additional cross traffic” at the intersection of Red Canyon Road and Highway 82, because tanker trucks are refilling with water from hydrants at Holy Cross Electric, which is across the highway from the lower end of Red Canyon Road.

Officials report that no structures have been lost as a result of the fire, and there have been no injuries reported due to the fire.

Those interested in shelter for their livestock should call 625-2514, the main fairgrounds number, and inquire for more details.

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