Fire crews working blaze near the Utah-Colo. border |

Fire crews working blaze near the Utah-Colo. border

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Fire officials with the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit were managing a 300-acre fire near the Utah-Colorado border west of Baxter’s Pass Wednesday.

The fire is in a remote area in rocky, steep terrain, and no structures are threatened. A smokejumper crew arrived and is on the ground monitoring the fire, and officials are also monitoring the fire from the air. Officials were not planning to add more personnel on the ground.

“Safety is our primary concern, and the terrain in the area is extremely steep and rough,” said Lee Rickard, UCR West Zone Fire Management Officer. “We won’t be putting our firefighters in harm’s way. We are managing the fire for the benefit of the resources. The oak brush and pinyon-juniper out there can benefit from fire.”

There are oil and gas facilities in the area. Fire officials are planning to protect those facilities should the fire spread their way, and say the facilities are readily defendable.

Firefighters responded to the fire at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and say the likely cause of the fire is lightning. It is currently burning in both Colorado and Utah, near the Mesa and Garfield county lines in Colorado.

Resources on the fire include an 8-member smokejumper crew, one engine crew, and air resources.

Smoke is likely to be visible throughout the Grand Valley and behind the Bookcliffs.

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