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State Line Fire 50 pct contained

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.

By Emery Cowan Herald staff writer

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

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