Officials: Fire near Rifle almost contained

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RIFLE, Colo. (KKCO) -- After a number of deadly fires have sparked across the Front Range, and now, one has lit on the Western Slope.

Thursday night, a wildfire was reported near Rifle around 8 p.m., spreading about seven miles southwest of Rifle on Log Mesa and burning sagebrush and pinion-juniper trees.

The land belongs to the Bureau of Land Management, according to a release from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management (UCR).

Several crews from multiple agencies were on the scene of the Beaver Creek Fire, including firefighters from Grand Junction.

Officials say the fire is now between seven and ten acres and was started by a lightning strike.

Erratic winds in the area may provide challenges to firefighters until 2 a.m., when they began to die down.

No structures are currently threatened, but oil and gas rigs are in the area. Encana Oil & Gas is working with officials and has shut down 32 natural gas wells in the area.

According to the release, better weather should help crews contain the fire by 6 p.m.

The lightning storm caused at least three other sources of smoke last night: two on the Roan Plateau and one off of Highway 131. UCR resources will be searching those areas Friday to make sure no more fires are spreading.

Photo via Garfield County Sheriff's Office

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