Lightning sparks two fires in Rio Blanco County and one in Moffat County

The Citadel Fire which was reported to the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center late this morning is estimated to be 1,600 acres in Moffat County18 miles southwest of Maybell. It’s burning in pinion and juniper trees and sagebrush on Bureau of Land Management and Colorado State lands. Concerns on this incident include rough terrain and limited access. The fire is burning actively at this time and spotting ahead of the blaze.

A load of eight smokejumpers were dropped into the area early afternoon to begin fighting the fire. Winds were erratic and strong pushing the fire to about 1,500 acres by 5 p.m. In addition to the smokejumpers a Moffat County Sheriff’s Office engine, one BLM engine and one air tanker are assigned. Two 20 person state hand crews will arrive tomorrow.

Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and BLM fire managers are assessing threats to structures near the incident.

“Fire fighter and public safety is always our first priority,” said BLM Fire Management Officer Colt Mortenson.

The two additional wildland fires are in Rio Blanco County.

The East Tschuddi Fire reported at 3:30 p.m., July 20, is about 500 acres on BLM and Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands 16 miles northwest of Meeker. Crews assigned to this incident took actions to protect a historical CPW cabin located on the fire line by burning out around the cabin which removes fuel for the fire. Another CPW cabin is one and one half mile northeast of the blaze. The fire is burning sagebrush, gamble oak, timber and pinion and juniper trees.

Assigned to the East Tschuddi Fire are two 20 person hand crews, two Meeker Volunteer Fire Department engines, one BLM engine, two helicopters, and one single engine air tanker or SEAT.

The Dillon Fire is in the Piceance Basin 20 miles southeast of Rangely. It’s about two acres with one Rangely Fire Protection District engine and one BLM engine assigned. It’s burning primarily in pinion and juniper. Fire personnel on scene are making good progress. No structures are threatened.

No injuries have been reported.

This information provided by the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit Fire Information Officer as of 9 p.m. on July 20.