Southwestern wildfire grows to nearly 390 acres |

Southwestern wildfire grows to nearly 390 acres

Members of the Tatanka South Dakota hotshots crew, put out hot spots as they try to keep the Black Ridge Fire from jumping over a gas well road being used as a fire break, Thursday, May 25, 2006, south of Durango Colo. (AP Photo/TheDurango Herald, Jerry McBride)

DURANGO – A wildfire grew to nearly 390 acres Thursday as crews labored in hot, dry weather to strengthen fire lines with the help of air tankers, helicopters and bulldozers.A dozen houses remained on evacuation alert but no one had been ordered to leave, La Plata County Emergency Manager Butch Knowlton said.

“Residents in that area should continue to monitor the situation and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice,” he said.The fire had been estimated at 250 acres Wednesday night.Fire information officer Pamella Wilson said several gas wells are in the area but none had been ordered shut down because the well platforms are cleared of flammable vegetation and the equipment is built to withstand high pressure and high temperatures.

Four bulldozers worked on fire lines overnight and two air tankers and two helicopters were dropping retardant and water on the flames Thursday, Wilson said.Two hotshot crews were expected to arrive Thursday. Two other crews, including one hotshot unit, were already on the scene.On Wednesday firefighters contained a 360-acre grassland wildfire near the southern border of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

On Tuesday, crews extinguished a 10-acre blaze near Eagleview Middle School in the Colorado Springs area. It was started by a wayward rocket launched as part of a science class.

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