Smoke Pours Onto Interstate 70

By: Elyse Webb
By: Elyse Webb

Dry brush along Interstate 70 in Fruita is charred after two fires break out Monday afternoon. Both fires started around noon. One was right near the Fruita exit on Interstate 70 and the other just about a half mile east.

Officials aren't sure what caused the fires, but they think it may have been from a train passing by the dry brush. Crews were on the scene within minutes, but battling this fire wasn't easy.

Gene Holder, Lower Valley Fire Chief, says " These trees here are grease wood trees. They are nasty. Once they start burning, they catch on fast and are hard to control."

Another obstacle firefighters faces was how close the blaze was to the freeway. Fruita police had the left lane of westbound traffic closed down because the smoke was so thick that visibility was poor. Crews expect the two fires burnt a total of 5 to 10 acres. The Lower Valley Fire Protection District responded to both fires.

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