Wildfire In NW Colorado Now 75 Percent Contained

Credit: Craig Daily Press

The weather continued to favor firefighters Friday as dozens worked to contain a large wildfire burning in northwest Colorado.

Hours after the Alkali Fire was first reported on Wednesday, flames had gobbled up thousands of acres, growing to nearly 20,700 acres. Officials said there was a high possibility of it continuing to spread Thursday.

But Thursday's conditions proved much more favorable than the ones the previous day that had allowed for so much growth--something officials told the Craig Daily Press was a happy surprise. Moisture and cloud coverage in the area gave crews the opportunity to gain ground on the flames.

"A little bit of residual monsoon moisture came in and held the clouds and the relative humidities held 30 percent, which helped our firefighting efforts lay down this fire," an official said.

A similar pattern continued Friday, with scattered showers falling over the fire as crews worked. Firefighters ended the day with the fire 75 percent contained, and expect to reach full containment by Sunday.

The Alkali Fire is burning 14 miles north of Maybell, Colo. in Moffat County. It started on private land, though what caused it is still unknown. The fire has destroyed a homestead used as a part-time home and a barn. Three cattle were killed. Three people have been evacuated.