Authorities report most fires in area contained

Two new small blazes reported

Most fires around the county started by lightning strikes were contained by Thursday afternoon. Two new fires were reported Thursday afternoon, a 2-acre blaze in Mesa Verde National Park and a second fire in Archuleta County. Park operations were not affected by the fire.

The Pinyon 2 Fire, which is burning on Southern Ute tribal land near Redmesa, was the largest at 23 acres and was 85 percent contained as of Thursday night.

“The retardant lines laid down last night helped hold the fire in check,” a news release from Durango Interagency Dispatch said Thursday.

Around 50 fire personnel worked the blaze Thursday.

Because of the Air Park Fire, which started Sunday and was mostly contained Wednesday, a number of helicopters and tankers were in the area when the fires broke out. This allowed firefighters to get the upper hand quickly.

“Aircraft was used in the most populated areas first, and, fortunately, all fires were caught before they were a real threat to any homes,” Fire Information Officer Pam Wilson said Wednesday.

The latest estimated cost of battling the Air Park Fire was $576,000.

The acreage burned has held steady at about 500 acres on Southern Ute and Bureau of Reclamation lands since Monday evening.

The estimated date for full containment has been pushed back to Sunday evening. Fire officials had earlier estimated full containment would occur by 5 p.m. Thursday.

abutler@durangoherald.com

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