Crews getting upper hand on X-rock blaze

Animas Mountain fire was human-caused, official says

Authorities hope to have the X-rock Fire, burning at the base of Animas Mountain near the 3800 block of Main Avenue, out by this evening, Karola Hanks, a fire marshal with Durango Fire & Rescue Authority said Saturday.

“It’s going really well,” Hanks said of the fire, which was reported at 4:14 p.m. Friday.

After quickly consuming 2 acres Friday, the blaze spread to 4 acres Saturday, Hanks said. Officials did not anticipate that the fire would continue to spread, she said.

A 21-man Juniper Valley crew from Buena Vista worked the fire Saturday as DFRA personnel supplied water with a tanker and two brush trucks, she said.

Firefighters put out a small spot fire they discovered outside the line Saturday morning and were going through the line step-by-step putting out hot spots within the burn area by Saturday afternoon, she said.

Hanks said that while authorities couldn’t make any guarantees, they hoped to have the fire contained by Saturday evening and out by tonight.

Officials closed U.S. Highway 550 between about 32nd Street and north Animas View Drive on Friday while three helicopters dumped buckets of water on the flames. The highway was reopened Saturday. X-rock Trail was closed and will remain closed today.

Crews are working near the trail, which goes “right through the burn area,” Hanks said.

Officials say the fire was human-caused, but details remain under investigation.

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