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Blaze contained near Bayfield

By Robert Galin Herald staff writer

A farmer burning ditches Sunday near County Road 523 south of Bayfield saw winds pick up and take the flames past his property line, eventually scorching about 5 to 10 acres, said Bruce Evans, chief of the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.

No structures were threatened, and the landowner won’t be cited, he said.

“The climate (change) and drought are changing the dynamics” of how fires act, Evans said from the fire line. He said area landowners have been burning for 100 years, but the climactic shift creates a new situation.

The fire was first reported at 11:39 a.m. and was basically controlled within an hour-and-a-half, Evans said.

Crews then created a backburn to “put some black around the burn area,” Evans said. A crew will stay at the scene overnight to make sure everything is out, he said.

About 18 firefighters were on scene with a number of vehicles, including water tenders, brush fire trucks, an ambulance and other vehicles, he said.

rgalin@durangoherald.com

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