Firefighters Challenged by Cache Creek Fire

Rifle—The Cache Creek Fire southwest of Rifle is going to kick up a lot of smoke for a long time.  Fire Operations Chief Jim Genung informed a packed house at last night’s public information meeting in Battlement Mesa that due to the challenging conditions and terrain, the size of the fire grew to over 2,500 acres in the last 48 hours.  He says crews are battling daily afternoon winds throwing red hot embers into bone-dry vegetation.  Genung says the south flank of the fire will be burning for some time due to the rugged terrain, dry fuels and danger posed to firefighters.   He says smoke and flames will likely be noticeable until the first big snowfall.  Officials say residents in Parachute and Battlement Mesa are not in any danger as the fire is about five miles from the nearest homes.  The Cache Creek Fire is 40 percent contained.