Morrisania Fire at 75% containment as of Tuesday

An airtanker flies above an emergency vehicle while assisting to subdue the Morrisania Fire in Parachute on Sunday.
Grand Valley Fire Protection/Courtesy

The community can breathe a sigh of relief as the Morrisania Fire, which ignited the Parachute and Battlement Mesa area on Saturday, is now 75% contained according to a news release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Residents, who spent anxious moments under evacuation orders throughout the weekend, received the news of their lift with caution. Although the roads, closed in the initial response, have reopened as of Tuesday morning, the presence of fire equipment is a reminder of the ordeal. Residents are advised to avoid the area to facilitate operations for the fire teams.

The initial assessment painted a grim picture for valley residents, as the fire was originally reported across an estimated 200 acres. Current estimates position the fire’s reach at 100 acres, with no growth reported over the past couple of days. Precise figures are anticipated later this afternoon, shedding more light on the scale of the containment.

Monday’s rain, a natural ally in the firefighting efforts, descended with mixed blessings. While aiding in containment, the downpour rendered the terrain unstable. Firefighters, in their pursuit, navigated the complicated landscape to cut containment lines around the fire’s perimeter.

The joint efforts of more than 100 personnel from two agencies initially battled the blaze. By Monday, a 45-strong team persevered. As of Tuesday morning, 15 firefighters, including specialists from Rocky Mountain National Park MOD 32, Grand Valley Fire Protection District, and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, remain on the ground, checking for hot spots throughout the day.

Livestock owners receive the nod to return their animals to the area, another subtle stride towards normalcy. 

As the ashes settle, questions about the fire’s origin hover. The investigative spotlight, currently under the stewardship of the Sheriff’s Office, is exploring early indications pointing to natural causes — a sinister dance of lightning strikes that pierced the serenity of Saturday’s weather.

While the Post Independent continues to monitor the situation, Garfield County residents are encouraged to sign up for Garfield County’s Emergency Notification System at for the most up-to-date information.

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