More than 360 firefighters continued to work the Spring Creek fire, burning in western Colorado, as high temperatures and wind kept authorities on high alert Wednesday for potential fire spread.
The fire southwest Parachute stayed roughly the same size overnight — at 2,859 acres — after the fire exploded Tuesday and raced across public lands, according to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management.
Crews dropped fire retardant from helicopters and fought flames from the ground to contain the fire by 20%, the agency said in a Wednesday update.
More crews were ordered to help douse the flames, with efforts focused on the northeastern side of the burn between the fire’s edge and the town of Parachute and where there is oil and gas infrastructure, authorities said on Inciweb, a federal wildfire database.
Strong wind gusts up to 45 mph, blowing southwest, contributed to the risk of the fire spreading. The National Weather Service in Grand Junction issued red flag warnings for Wednesday and Thursday because of low relative humidity and dry fuels that could also cause a fire to easily ignite.
The weather service predicts winds will subside Friday.
The Spring Creek fire chewed through grass, oakbrush and pinon-juniper, according to Inciweb. Smoke from the fire could cause hazy skies and reduce air quality, authorities warned. No structures have burned and no injuries hae been reported.
The fire sparked Saturday afternoon, when firefighters worked to keep the fire about 200 acres on private land in Garfield County and the White River National Forest land, authorities said. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have closed areas near the fire to help ensure the public’s and firefighters’ safety.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.