Two wildfires burning in southwestern Colorado north of Pagosa Springs

Two wildfires were expanding and had burned across more than 700 acres of dry U.S. National Forest and wilderness terrain Tuesday morning in southwestern Colorado, north of Pagosa Springs.

Firefighters with air support were planning to suppress both fires, federal officials said.

The 560-acre Quartz Ridge fire was burning inside the South San Juan Wilderness, according to data on a federal fire information website.

It was discovered on Aug. 5 and was expected to stay in “a very remote location” in the wilderness. People in Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area could see smoke, Forest Service officials said in a bulletin Tuesday morning.

“Firefighters are unable to directly engage the fire due to very steep terrain,” officials said. Firefighting supervisors were making plans for squelching flames if they spread into accessible terrain, officials said. Trails in the area have been closed.  “The fire will continue to be highly visible to travelers on US Highway 160, Colorado Highway 84, and from the communities of Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, and Durango.”

The Bear Creek fire about 2.5 miles west of the Weminuche Valley, was discovered on Aug. 1 and on Tuesday morning had burned across 150 acres. It has intensified, with flames devouring standing dead trees, prompting firefighters to back off, officials said in a bulletin posted on the website. Smoke from this fire also was visible around the Pagosa Springs area and along US Highway 160.

No evacuations have been ordered. No buildings have burned. No injuries were reported.

To the west near Bayfield, the 1,372-acre Dry Creek fire on Tuesday was listed as 65% contained.

Source: Read Full Article