A small fire caused by a lightning strike in the HD Mountains has been encouraged to grow a little bigger and has done just that.
Firing operations began Wednesday to expand the perimeter of a small lightning-caused wildfire in the HD Mountains. The burn will improve forest health and reduce future wildfire danger, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The 842 Fire had burned about 13 acres on Wednesday and grew to 35 acres by Thursday morning. The fire is smoldering and creeping on the surface about 13 miles southeast of Bayfield between the Turkey Creek and Bull Creek drainages.
"Firefighters will be using drip torches, working to expand the perimeter of the fire within the predetermined containment lines," Lance Martin, the incident commander, said on Wednesday. Fire crews onsite include a Type II initial attack crew from Wyoming and local crews from the U.S. Forest Service, Upper Pine Fire District and Durango Fire Department. After firing operations take place, smoke may settle overnight to the south along the Piedra River and Colorado Highway 151.
The firing operations will be used to guide the fire's growth away from populated areas so it can play its natural role in the forest. Existing roads, trails and natural barriers will be used as containment lines instead of building fire breaks. Crews will do this to minimize any impacts to remote archaeological sites.
For more information, contact the Columbine District Office at 884-2512.