State Line Fire 50 pct contained

A firefighter works on the north side of the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico-Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

A firefighter works on the north side of the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico-Colorado border.

The State Line Fire, which at last measure had burned 350 acres along U.S. Highway 550 near Bondad, was declared 50 percent contained on Monday afternoon.

The “focus is holding and improving the lines and beginning mop up,” a statement from Forest Service spokeswoman Ann Bond said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. One structure had burned.

Battling the blaze Monday were 140 fire personnel, 10 engines and a helicopter.

Firefighters started gaining the upper hand on the State Line Fire early Sunday afternoon, a day after it started.

The fire had reduced traffic on U.S. Highway 550 to one lane to leave room for fire equipment.

About six homes in the area were evacuated Saturday night as a precaution, Noonan said. The fire torched one small building, but officials were unable to confirm if it was a house. All that remained of the structure Sunday was a pile of scrap metal and a few charred appliances.

Colorado resident Hugh Miles’s house barely survived the blaze. Miles said he was working in his garage when he looked up to see flames licking at the north edge of his property. He immediately pulled out hoses and started dousing the fire with water as he waited for fire crews to arrive.

The 20-minute wait “seemed like an eternity,” Miles said. Soon after, the wind began blowing the flames away from his house.

“If the wind would have been blowing the other way, it would have been all she wrote,” Miles said.

ecowan@durangoherald.com

Hugh Miles describes how he battled flames from the State Line Fire to save his home west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Hugh Miles describes how he battled flames from the State Line Fire to save his home west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border.

A grasshopper – still alive – clings to burned grass after the State Line Fire burned west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

A grasshopper – still alive – clings to burned grass after the State Line Fire burned west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border.

Dan Noonan, chief of Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, works in the mobile command post for the State Line Fire on Sunday morning. Enlarge photo

JERRY MCBRIDE/Durango Herald

Dan Noonan, chief of Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, works in the mobile command post for the State Line Fire on Sunday morning.

Ash devils rise from the landscape Sunday morning at the State Line Fire. Enlarge photo

JERRY MCBRIDE/Durango Herald

Ash devils rise from the landscape Sunday morning at the State Line Fire.

Firefighters work on a site only feet from U.S. Highway 550 where a small building was destroyed by the State Line Fire on Saturday. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Firefighters work on a site only feet from U.S. Highway 550 where a small building was destroyed by the State Line Fire on Saturday.

The State Line Fire near Bondad pictured Saturday evening. Enlarge photo

PATRICK DILLON/Special to the Herald

The State Line Fire near Bondad pictured Saturday evening.

Richard Gustafson, left, incident commander for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Dan Noonan, chief of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, talk to firefighters and concerned citizens about the State Line Fire on Saturday evening on U.S. Highway 550 just south of Bondad Hill. Enlarge photo

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald

Richard Gustafson, left, incident commander for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Dan Noonan, chief of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, talk to firefighters and concerned citizens about the State Line Fire on Saturday evening on U.S. Highway 550 just south of Bondad Hill.

Jordan Barnett with Durango Fire & Rescue Authority at the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Jordan Barnett with Durango Fire & Rescue Authority at the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border.

A log burns below a gas well in the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

A log burns below a gas well in the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border.

U.S. Forest Service fire investigators and La Plata County Sheriff’s deputies investigate the Ftate Line Fire that burned west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

U.S. Forest Service fire investigators and La Plata County Sheriff’s deputies investigate the Ftate Line Fire that burned west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border.

A firefighter works on north side of the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

A firefighter works on north side of the State Line Fire west of U.S. Highway 550 on Sunday north of the New Mexico and Colorado border.

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