Ward Gulch Fire 85% contained, Hwy 325 reopened

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GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Highway 325 in Rifle will be open Tuesday, but if you are in the area, officials are warning you to drive carefully because there will still be firefighters in the area.

Parts of Rifle Gap will also reopen now that the Ward Gulch Fire is 85 percent contained.

Fire crews will be cut back to 250 personnel, and all the residents are now back home.

Rifle Falls State Park is available only for day use, and Rifle Gap State Park officials will only allow boating on the west end of the reservoir while a helicopter continues to work.

The Ward Gulch Fire broke out Friday morning about three miles north of the Rifle Gap Reservoir and burned 485 acres.

Officials say it was started by a smoldering lightning strike.

However, the danger isn't over yet: The National Weather Service says gusty winds and very warm weather will increase the fire danger in parts of western Colorado by the middle of this week.

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