Lightning keeps Southwest Colo. firefighters busy

Several wildfires sparked by lightning strikes were burning in Southwest Colorado Sunday evening– drawing firefighters from as far as the Navajo Nation.

The largest fire was the Burns Fire estimated at 80 acres on Southern Ute Indian Tribe land and private lands 12 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs, according to a news release issued Sunday evening by Ann Bond of the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center.

Two structures are threatened near Coal Mine Canyon Road. Two single-engine air tankers have been working the fire, and a heavy air tanker is en route. Archuleta County and Southern Ute engines and crews are on scene with structural support requested from the Upper Pine Fire District, Bond said in the release.

North of Durango, the Buck Fire was reported late Sunday afternoon in the San Juan National Forest Hermosa Creek drainage, about five miles north of the town of Hermosa. A team of smoke jumpers has been ordered. The fire was last reported at a quarter acre with strong potential for spreading.

The Hoof Fire on Ute Mountain Ute Tribe land two miles south of Mesa Verde National Park has burned about 30 acres on White’s Mesa two miles from Montezuma County Road 100. A helicopter and single-engine air tanker are making drops, with one ground crew on scene from the Navajo Nation.

The Park Point Fire is estimated at 3 acres in Mesa Verde National Park on steep slopes below the Park Point Lookout. The National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management firefighters were responding.

The Sleeping Fire on the Ute Mountain Ute land is estimated at a quarter acre on Sleeping Ute Mountain about three miles south of McElmo Canyon. A helicopter is making water drops.