Containment expected on fire near New Castle |

Containment expected on fire near New Castle

NEW CASTLE ” A 15-acre fire dubbed the Rock’n Pine Fire burned over the weekend on Bureau of Land Management land two miles northeast of the town of New Castle in Garfield County.

The fire began from a lightning strike on Saturday, according to Lathan Johnson, central zone assistant fire management officer for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit.

The fire was listed at 25 percent containment as of 7 a.m. Sunday morning, and firefighters expect the blaze to be 100 percent contained by 8 p.m. Sunday night.

On Saturday two single-engine air tankers and one heavy air tanker dropped nine loads of water on the blaze. Roughly 15 firefighters were on scene.

One 20-person hotshot crew as well as two 20-person Type II crews worked the fire Sunday.

“The reason we have so many firefighters on the scene [Sunday] is because the fire is located in some pretty steep terrain,” Johnson said. “The slopes are about 50 degrees.”

One helicopter also worked the fire Sunday.

The Rock’n Pine Fire is burning in pinyon-juniper and oak brush on public land. It is two miles from the nearest home and one mile west of the location where the New Castle Fire burned earlier this summer. The Rock’n Pine Fire is named after a restaurant that was located in the area in the 1960s.

Assisting firefighters from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Unit are the Burning Mountains Fire Department in New Castle and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

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