Wild Rose Fire at 850 acres, two others ignite

By: Andie Adams Email
By: Andie Adams Email

RIO BLANCO COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) -- Firefighters in Rio Blanco County are trying to get a handle on three fires burning in their area.

Wild Rose Fire

The one of most concern is the Wild Rose Fire, which is now estimated at 850 acres, according to Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Mike Joos.

The lightning-caused fire is growing on the west side of Highway 139 around milemarker 50, about seven miles north of the Rio Blanco/Garfield Counties line and eight miles east of the Utah/Colorado border.

Three Encana compressor plants have been shut down, and about 40 children and a few adults were evacuated from the Mountain Youth Group Home.

High winds spread embers up to a mile ahead of fire on Wednesday, igniting flames along Bureau of Land Management land.

Officials are expecting the fire to grow due to 40 mile-per-hour winds Thursday afternoon; the area is under a red-flag warning. Crews are hoping to drop fire retardant along the fire lines before the winds start blowing.

No structures have been damaged, no injuries have been reported, and no structures are immediately threatened.

The BLM has ordered a Type 2 Incident team to respond to the fire. Thursday, air tankers, helicopters, engines and about 100 firefighters are working to extinguish the fire, which is zero percent contained.

Video via Greg Mora on Facebook

Rope Canyon Fire

Another fire is burning just across from the Wild Rose Fire.

The Rope Canyon Fire is about two acres. It's on the east side of Highway 139 in Rio Blanco County.

Joos says a lightning strike most likely sparked the flames on Sunday, but they did not start spreading until Wednesday.

Ryan Gulch Fire

And a final challenge to Rio Blanco County officials: the third lightning-caused blaze -- the Ryan Gulch Fire -- has grown to 11 acres. The flames are in the Piceance Basin near Meeker.

Both BLM and Meeker Fire Department crews responded to the scene. As of Wednesday night, they had five engines and 20 firefighters working on the fire, and it is now about 70 percent contained.


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