Colorado firefighters have made good progress on several of the wildfires burning in the state, and certainly hope that the trend continues.
The Red Table Fire near Sylvan Lake was held to about its’ original 20 acres, due to an aggressive response both on the ground and from the air. Hand crews, several helicopters and air tankers attacked the blaze and had it nearly flanked on both sides by late Thursday afternoon. White River National Forest officials say that conditions can still change suddenly, so anyone with plans to visit the park should call for updates.
Firefighters have fully contained a wildfire that destroyed eight homes near Nederland.
The Cold Springs Fire, which scorched 528 acres over the course of this past week, was contained Thursday evening and the last remaining evacuees were allowed to return home. Fire officials warned that returning residents might encounter hazards that include fire-weakened trees, blowing ash and stump holes.
The two men accused of accidentally starting the fire by not fully extinguishing their campfire were charged Wednesday with fourth-degree arson, which carries a penalty of up to 12 years in prison.
Five firefighters traveling to the Hayden Pass Fire near Coaldale were hospitalized with minor injuries after a crash on I-25 near Fort Collins.
Lawrence Lujan, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, says the interagency crew assigned to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National forests was en route to the Hayden Pass Fire when the crash happened Thursday afternoon.
Nate Reid, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol, says that two fire trucks were slowing down as they approached some traffic that had stopped when they were hit by a tractor-trailer.
No other injuries were reported.
Firefighters are working to keep a wildfire from advancing toward homes outside Durango.
The Black Ridge Fire was burning on about 78 acres Thursday but crews have built fire line around 40 percent of it. Fire spokesman Scot Davis says slurry has also been dropped along nearly all of the fire’s perimeter and an area burned by previous fires is slowing its growth toward an estimated 50 to 80 houses in a nearby canyon.
Residents have been warned to be ready to evacuate if the fire moves closer. It’s believed to have been started by lightning earlier this week before flaring up on Wednesday.