Crews stop growth of fire near Rifle |

Crews stop growth of fire near Rifle

Ryan Hoffman
A fire burns 6 miles southwest of Rifle Wednesday, June 29.
Provided |

A combination of resources and rain that rolled through the area Wednesday evening helped stymie the growth of a wildfire on Bureau of Land Management land 6 miles southwest of Rifle.

Dubbed the Houston Mountain Fire, the blaze was reported around 5 p.m. An official cause was not determined Wednesday night, but officials suspect lightning to be the cause.

Multiple agencies were working to contain the fire just before 9 p.m., but the blaze was not expected to grow much larger, said David Boyd, public affairs specialist with the BLM’s Northwest Colorado District. The fire spread to roughly 15 acres, burning pinyon and juniper trees, before a storm cell rolled in from the west and helped stop the spread of the fire.

Additionally, Boyd said resources aided with limiting the size of the fire. Seven aircrafts, two local fire agencies and an Interagency Hotshot Crew — which happened to be staging in Rifle — assisted in fighting the fire.

“(The Hotshot Crew) happened to be staging in Rifle, so having the air crafts available and the hotshots available to help the engines was really key to checking (the fire’s) spread,” Boyd said. “And then the rain really helped out.”

Boyd said crews hope to have the fire fully contained tomorrow. Barring a flare-up, the remainder of the work should be handled by ground personnel.

While the broader area is home to oil and gas infrastructure, there was nothing in the immediate area, including a road. Crews had to grab hand tools and hike in, according to Boyd.

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