Air support released from Grand Hogback Fire |

Air support released from Grand Hogback Fire

A helicopter makes a water drop on the Grand Hogback Fire near New Castle on Tuesday.
Provided |

The Grand Hogback Fire east of New Castle was reported to be 50 percent contained Tuesday evening, as crews worked throughout Independence Day to keep the fire that broke out around 4:30 p.m. Monday from spreading.

Most air support was released from the fire Tuesday afternoon. One K-max helicopter will remain on call at the Rifle-Garfield County Airport if needed, according to a Garfield County Sheriff’s Office release.

Aerial support included 12 Single Engine Air Tanker slurry drops and multiple bucket drops of water from two K-max helicopters. Water drops continued until early afternoon on Tuesday as the fire had grown to more than 100 acres.

The cause of the fire has not been confirmed, but authorities said the fire started at the edge of Garfield County Road 335. Total costs of fighting the fire are unknown, but are expected to exceed $100,000, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“We are fortunate that there were no structures lost and no loss of life,” Sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

The fire prompted the nearby Apple Tree Park Freedom Celebration to cancel its evening fireworks, though Glenwood Springs, which featured a low-altitude display, continued with its plans as part of the city’s celebration in Two Rivers Park.

“We want to thank the public with their continued support and cooperation while this operation draws to a close,” Stowe said.

In addition to firefighters from Colorado River Fire Rescue, the response included support from Glenwood Fire, the BLM and U.S. Forest Service’s Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management, Colorado State Engine 6221 from Rifle and a crew of 20 “Lone Peak Hotshots” from Utah.

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