Wildfire in Horsethief Canyon forces closure of I-70 near Grand Junction Thursday afternoon | PostIndependent.com

Wildfire in Horsethief Canyon forces closure of I-70 near Grand Junction Thursday afternoon

High winds are making it tough to fight the fire, which investigators think started with a campfire

The Denver Post
A firefighter tackles the Skipper Island Fire near Grand Junction.
Mesa County Sheriff’s Office

A 15- to 20-acre blaze nicknamed the Skipper Island Fire forced the closure of Interstate 70 near Grand Junction Thursday afternoon.

The wildfire is believed to have been started by a campfire at about 7 p.m. Wednesday in an area known as Skipper Island in the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. The wildfire has zero containment. No homes or structures are threatened.

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed I-70 between Loma and Fruita. Westbound lanes have since been reopened.The agency warned drivers of high winds and poor visibility, advising people to take U.S. 50 and U.S. 6 instead.

Powerlines near the fire were de-energized, causing outages for Xcel customers in Fruita and 2,100 customers in the Redlands. There is no time estimate for when power will be restored.

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