Roatcap Fire at almost 400 acres

About 30 homes evacuated, many more are on standby

Firefighters from the Lewis-Arriola Fire Protection District stand by to protect a house off Montezuma county roads 28 and P as flames erupt in the Roatcap Fire on Wednesday afternoon. Enlarge photo

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Firefighters from the Lewis-Arriola Fire Protection District stand by to protect a house off Montezuma county roads 28 and P as flames erupt in the Roatcap Fire on Wednesday afternoon.

A fire that began burning at about 11 a.m. Wednesday had reached an estimated 386 acres as of 5:40 p.m. that evening.

Dubbed the Roatcap Fire, it is located near Montezuma county roads 29 and P, south of Dolores. It began on private land, and except for about 40 acres under Bureau of Land Management supervision, most of it is burning on private property, said Lt. Ted Meador of the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office.

Meador said as of Wednesday evening, 30 homes have been evacuated and many more are on evacuation standby.

The Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center said about 100 homes, high-voltage power lines and a Colorado Department of Transportation storage facility are threatened.

The fire started from a trash burn that went out of control. Gusty winds pushed the fire quickly to the east and northeast.

No one from Durango Fire & Rescue Authority is at the Roatcap Fire, Hal Doughty, deputy chief for operations, said Wednesday.

The fire dispatch center has ordered two Type 2 firefighting crews in addition to a Type 1 hot-shot crew, which is en route from the Vallecito Fire, an initial air attack crew, a Type 1 helicopter, a single-engine air tanker and a heavy air tanker.

It is unknown how many of these resources will be available because of equipment needs at the Wetmore Fire in Pueblo and Custer counties, which has forced about 380 people to leave their homes.

The Wetmore Fire, which was initially reported at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, had reached 2,100 acres by 4 p.m. Wednesday. More than 160 personnel from 16 agencies have been called to the scene.

The Cortez Journal and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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