Below is information received from GayLene Rossieter, Acting Fire Information Officer, Colorado State Forest Service.
(Updated 1:20 p.m., March 19)
Fire Jurisdiction: Yuma County
Location/County: South of Highway 34 between towns of Eckley and Yuma in Yuma County
Start Date: Sunday, March 18, approximately 1:15 p.m.
Cause: Under investigation, but potentially due to a downed power line from high winds
Acres/Land Ownership: Approximately 24,000 acres of half grass/crop fields on private lands
Containment: 100 percent
Evacuations: The evacuation order for the town of Eckley was lifted late last night; the approximate 200-square mile evacuated area around the fire was lifted today
Closures: Highway 34 reopened from the town of Eckley to County Road L
Injuries to Date: Three firefighters injured
Structures Lost/Damaged: Two homes destroyed; other structure damages still to be determined
Other Values at Risk: Number of livestock lost currently undetermined
Significant Events: High winds and thick smoke mixed with dirt decreased during the night, helping firefighter contain the fire. Today, fire crews and deputies drove through the burn area to manage hot spots and flare-ups. The Civil Air Patrol surveyed the extent of the fire’s damage earlier today.
Resources: Primarily local emergency response agencies, including nine volunteer fire departments and four other volunteer fire departments on standby. Regional agencies from northeast Colorado and western Kansas also assisted to control the fire.
EFF/FEMA Status: N/A
Source: Yuma County Sheriff’s Office
Today’s Fire Outlook
- The fire situation rating for the Rocky Mountain Area remains at Preparedness Level 1, indicating that there is minimal large fire activity nationally. Most Geographic Areas have low to moderate fire danger. There is little or no commitment of national resources.
- A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 7 p.m. tonight for southern Colorado, including Baca, Prowers and Eastern Las Animas counties. For more information, go to www.weather.gov/alerts-beta/co.php?x=1. A map can be viewed at www.wrh.noaa.gov/firewx/main.php.
- This afternoon will be partly sunny in the area of the Heartstrong Fire with a high near 58 and northwest winds between 5 and 10 mph. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 30. Blustery north winds between 5 and 10 mph may increase to 15 and 20 mph with gusts possible as high as 30 mph.
This report is also available online at http://csfs.colostate.edu or download the Heartstrong Fire Update.