Two fires ravage Rifle |

Two fires ravage Rifle

Amanda Holt Miller and Carrie ClickWestern Garfield County Staff

Two fires are burning near Rifle: one at Spanglers Auto Salvage, at 27925 Highway 6 & 24, just east of Rifle, and the other at Garfield County Landfill, west of Rifle. Both fires started around 4-4:30 p.m. Tuesday and were still burning as of 5:30 p.m.

Rifle Fire Protection crews were on site being assisted by crews from other nearby area fire departments to put out the blaze at Spanglers, where piles of tires, among other flammables, were burning. Send everybody you got, said an unidentified firefighter on the departments radio scanner at around 5 p.m. What I need is some manpower! Kenny South, a resident of Cottonwood Trailer Park located near Spanglers, described the scene. He was at home when the fire began.The smoke is unreal, he said. I dont know what it is but its cookin. There are all kinds of explosions and stuff. The smoke is black and thick. I had to turn my swamp cooler off because of all the smoke. Spanglers yard contains hundreds of demolished cars, with flammable materials such as tires, engine parts and electrical wiring. Although a storm was passing through the Rifle area at the time, lightning did not appear to be the cause of the fire. As of 5:10 p.m., Colorado State Patrol was on site and diverting all traffic off Highway 6 & 24 to Mile Pond Road.

Parachute Fire crews were tending to another fire either in or near the Garfield County Landfill west of Rifle at the same time today. That fire is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike. Crews were requesting helicopters to assist in dousing the blaze, as of about 5 p.m.

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