Colorado agricultural burn turns into almost 900-acre wildfire


An agricultural burn in Colorado has scorched almost 900 acres, authorities said Monday night. 

In a statement posted to Facebook, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office (RBCSO) said the Meeker area fire had spread over 890 acres and is 60 percent contained.

In details provided in the post as well as a Sunday post, the RBCSO noted that the county’s communications center had received a 911 call on Sunday, April 11 after 1 pm reporting that the burn had “gotten out of control” and that there are currently “resources working on securing containment lines and conducting burn out operations.”

The agency said that while crews had made “excellent progress,” wildfire behavior in the “County Road 8” Fire is “largely contingent upon weather and fuel conditions” and the potential for fire activity “remains high.” 

“The public is reminded to be cautious with all combustible materials to prevent unwanted, human-caused fires,” the office said, adding that people in the vicinity should “stay clear of the area to keep all fire personnel safe.”

No structures have been reported lost and the acres burned are on private land.

The RBCSO, Meeker Fire, the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and the Rio Blanco County Road and Bridge have all responded to assist in fighting the fire, which continues to blaze near mile marker 8.

Upcoming weather may or may not help the efforts to douse the fire and the National Weather Service reported Tuesday that dry conditions, low relative humidities and gusty winds are forecast to support an Elevated to Critical Fire Weather Threat over the Southwest.

The Craig Press reported on Tuesday that a Type-2 helicopter from the State of Colorado Division of Fire is providing aerial assistance to firefighters on the ground.

Earlier this month, Colorado leaders announced they would allocate millions of dollars toward early wildfire detection and rapid response, including a $24 million helicopter called a Firehawk, according to The Denver Post.

“Colorado used to talk about a fire season. It is now a year-round phenomenon,” Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said.

“We expect dry conditions to make this fire season especially challenging … I want everybody to get involved and do their part to prevent wildfires in Colorado communities,” he said.

At least 5,300 wildfires broke out in the Centennial State, the Post said, including the three biggest in the state’s recorded history.

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