The Red Apple Fire burning five miles southwest of Rifle is expected to be 70% contained Saturday evening. It started as a small brush fire Thursday afternoon and quickly spread because of high winds. Fire officials believe the fire was human caused, but they are still investigating.
One home and three outbuildings were lost in the fire Thursday. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations were ordered by the Garfield County Sheriff's Office for about 50 homes. By Saturday, all evacuations had been lifted. The fire was originally estimated to have burned 1800 acres. Fire authorities now have confirmed that 829 acres have burned, most of which was private lands.
Approximately 140 firefighters were on scene Saturday making fire lines, and watering hot spots. Authorities are optimistic and expect full containment by Sunday evening.
Fire officials warn that even though it is September, the fire danger is high because of dry conditions.