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Saguache County fires not spreading

Posted: Friday, Jun 21st, 2013

SAGUACHE — While firefighters braced for battle as fires bore down on South Fork on Friday, firefighters in the forests near Saguache had better news to report.

SLV Public Lands Center Public Affairs Specialist Mike Blakeman said firefighters made good progress on the Saguache-area fires on Friday.

Firefighters are holding steady on the lightning-caused Trickle Mountain Fire 14 miles northwest of Saguache, which was listed at 277 acres Friday afternoon. The fire was reported the day before on the northwest side of Trickle Mountain.

“Active fire suppression efforts are ongoing,” Blakeman stated. “The fire is in a large island of timber surrounded by meadows. Meadows and a burnout operation are successfully holding the fire.”

On site are two SLV Interagency Fire Management Unit firefighter squads totaling eight firefighters and a Type 2 hand crew of 20 firefighters.

No structures are threatened in the Trickle Mountain Fire. BLM Road 5525 is temporarily closed.

Smoke is clearly visible from Highway 114, and drifting smoke may be visible in Saguache from both the Trickle Mountain and Sheep Creek Fire.

The Sheep Creek Fire, also reported on June 20, began 20 miles northwest of Saguache in conifer, dead and downed trees near Sheep Creek, according to Blakeman.

The fire is at about 15 acres. Blakeman said the fire spread had been checked, and firefighters were working on containment. On scene are eight smoke jumpers and a Type 2 hand crew of 20 firefighters.

The cause of the Sheep Creek Fire has not yet been determined.

An older Saguache area fire, the Ox Cart Fire southeast of Poncha Pass, continues to burn naturally with no suppression efforts. It started on June 6 with a lightning hit.

Papoose Fire

The Papoose Fire is burning near Rio Grande Reservoir in the Little Squaw and Papoose drainages north of the Windy Pass Fire and is estimated at 1,600 acres, according to reports. A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for areas along FS Road 520.  A Type I team will handle this fire.

According to Rio Grande National Forest reports, an area closure has been put into place for a portion of the RGNF. The closure extends both north and south of Forest Service Road 520 to the Continental Divide. Additionally, FS Road 520 has been closed from Stony Pass to Colo. 149.

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