Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir is 348 acres, 50 percent contained | PostIndependent.com

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Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir is 348 acres, 50 percent contained

The Freeman Fire, above Ruedi Reservoir, is 338 acres and roughly 50 percent contained.

The Freeman Fire, above Ruedi Reservoir, is 338 acres and roughly 50 percent contained.

The Freeman Fire burning near Ruedi Reservoir grew to 348 acres Tuesday, just two acres larger than Monday.

Kate Jerman, spokeswoman for the White River National Forest, said the fire is now 50 percent contained, up from 40 percent containment Monday. The fire is believed to be human-caused and is still under investigation.

“We’re hopeful for 60 percent containment by end of shift tomorrow,” she said.

There were 99 crew members working the fire Tuesday, the same number as Sunday and Monday. On Wednesday, the number of personnel goes down to 46 because two of the hot shot crews logged too many hours and have to head home, Jerman said.

“They’re working to get that containment percentage up but the aspen stand at the top of the ridge, it’s unsafe to put people up there,” she said, adding that the number of dead and dying trees makes going up there too risky.

Crews will continue mop-up efforts Wednesday, meaning they’ll work in from the perimeter of the fire to put out smoldering or hot areas. There was aerial support for Tuesday’s firefighting efforts, but Wednesday’s firefighting will primarily be done from the ground.