Firefighters battle two Rifle fires two days in a row |

Firefighters battle two Rifle fires two days in a row

Colorado River Fire Rescue battled consecutive days of fires Wednesday and Thursday.

Local firefighters answered a call around 8:44 a.m. Thursday to a row of storage units ablaze near Cottonwood Springs Park, Colorado River Fire Rescue Prevention Division Chief and Fire Marshal Orrin Moon said.

“We got a call of some explosions going on and fire coming out of the storage units,” he said.

Moon said one person was taken to the hospital but didn’t speak on his condition.

Moon said four fire engines, four water tenders and two ambulances were deployed. Glenwood Springs Fire Department and Grand Valley Fire Protection District provided mutual aid, as did the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Xcel Energy and Covenant Towing and Transport.

Around 10:30 a.m., several storage units were completely incinerated, including nearby parked vehicles. Some nearby portable restrooms also sustained damage.

Firefighters performed defensive attacks to prevent the fire from jumping to other structures. Moon did not speak to the cause of the fire.

“It’s way too early to even look at that right now,” Moon said. “We are concentrating on getting this fire put out.”

Cause of the fire is under investigation.


Two people were treated for minor injuries and released after a fire started underneath the Colorado Highway 13 bridge Wednesday night.

Colorado River Fire Rescue deployed two engines and an ambulance to the site near 10 p.m., Moon said. The section of highway was closed to traffic for about three hours.

“Basically we had a fire underneath in some of the bridge abutments,” Moon said. “The fire was from a bunch of combustibles evidently some homeless people had put up there.”

The fire was cleared by 12:30 a.m. Thursday. The Colorado Department of Transportation inspected the area and gave approval to open the bridge by 1:10 a.m.

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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