Despite “red flag” hot, dry and windy conditions that favor flames, the Spring Creek fire burning in western Colorado south of Parachute stayed roughly the same size, authorities said Wednesday morning.
The most recent mapping of the fire showed that it is burning within a 2,848-acre area, based on overnight aerial mapping using infrared imagery, according to officials with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit, which on Tuesday had estimated the size of this fire at more than 3,000 acres.
Flames were devouring grass, oak brush, and pinon-juniper forest, according to data from an online federal fire information site.
Low humidity and robust wind favored the fire. The National Weather Service Grand Junction office on Wednesday issued “red flag” fire danger warnings covering much of western Colorado and forecasters anticipated temperatures as high as 94 degrees.
Firefighters have not been able to contain the fire.
Federal fire managers on Wednesday were expected to coordinate efforts to suppress flames. At least 300 firefighters have been deployed along with trucks. And local authorities have requested aerial support — firefighting helicopters lugging water and tankers loaded with red fire retardant slurry that pilots can drop ahead of fast-moving walls of flame.
The fire broke out Saturday along Spring Creek and spread rapidly, burning on private land in Garfield County and reaching the White River National Forest. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials have closed off areas around the burn zone in an effort to ensure firefighter and public safety. The authorities said they have not been able to determine what ignited this fire.
It was kicking up plumes of brown smoke, expected to degrade air quality in downwind communities.
No buildings have been burned. No evacuations have been ordered. No injuries were reported.
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