Fire east of Rulison threatens area homes |

Fire east of Rulison threatens area homes

RULISON – Residents of the Spruce and Beaver Creek areas southeast of Rulison were evacuated Thursday due to an enormous wildfire that threatened homes and burned as much as 1,800 acres.The fire was reported south of Rulison, near County Road 320 and Porcupine Creek, around 4 p.m. and the Rifle Fire Department first responded. According to eyewitness accounts, there were about three or four “hot spots,” each around 300 yards wide, burning west, parallel to Interstate 70.”So far the crews out here are doing a great job with structure protection,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, a few hours after the fire began.

The blaze was running west toward the Morrisania Mesa subdivision, but according to Vallario, the fire hadn’t yet threatened the area.Eyewitnesses said that they could see flames as high as 20 feet and smoke was visible from as far away as New Castle and Parachute.Vallario couldn’t say if any structures had been damaged as of early evening.

Along with the Rifle Fire Department and county Sheriff’s Department, the Parachute and Burning Mountains fire departments responded, along with three aircraft tankers from the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Center in Rifle.In July, another fire burned on the Savage property, close to the same area, but no structures were damaged.The cause of Thursday’s fire was still undetermined as of early evening but residents reported lightning in the area that day.

Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext.

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