Fire claims homes in Mesa |

Fire claims homes in Mesa

Marija B. VaderGrand Junction CorrespondentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

MESA – Winds have whipped a small brush fire into a roaring inferno in Mesa tonight, quickly torching three homes and a shed and commanding fire support from as far away as Montrose and Rifle.As of 9:44 p.m., three homes on the west side of Highway 65 in the town of Mesa had completely burned down, while three more were threatened, according to Free Press reporter Paul Shockley, who was standing at the fire station on the edge of town staring down Highway 65 at a row of emergency lights lining the highway. Shockley said a giant plume of smoke hovered above the community.As of 9:44 p.m., fire officials projected that whey would have the fire controlled by 1:30 a.m.The fire started along Mesa Creek, and was first reported at 7:26 p.m. Thursday, according to dispatch reports.At 8 p.m., air support was summoned and traffic stopped at the confluence of Highway 65 and Highway 330.KN Energy was called in to turn off natural gas, as multiple gas leaks were also reported.Area resident Dan Vroman reported thick smoke in the area. He had heard authorities reported many homes had burned, but as of 8:30, he had not yet been evacuated from his.Area fire authorities were called to help, including the Bureau of Land Management, which sent four trucks, two each from Rifle and Montrose. The Grand Junction Fire Department and Central Orchard Mesa Fire Department, the Colorado State Patrol, Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and the DeBeque Marshal’s Department were also summoned to help.According to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Unit hotline, they’ve sent in four engines, a Hot Shot crew and a single-engine air tanker.

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