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2 small fires burning in Pagosa Ranger District

Both less than one-tenth of an acre and rain expected in area
Firefighters Joe Wayne, left, and Ben Perry, with the chain saw, work on fire lines on the Yellow Fire on Saturday. On Sunday, the Yellow Fire was declared contained.

Firefighters battled two fires one-tenth of an acre or smaller in the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest on Sunday.

Andy Lyon, a spokesman with the San Juan National Forest, said: “We've been checking the whole area from the air every day to make sure these fires are not actually getting any bigger. And with rain in the forecast just about every day for the next several days, we're not concerned that any of them are going to cause us any trouble.”

The Yellow Fire was declared contained Sunday after ground crews were able to put firelines around it on Saturday.

The Yellow Fire burning above U.S. Highway 160 at near mile marker 118 at Yellow Jacket Creek about a dozen miles east of Pagosa Springs.

Smoke from the Yellow Fire was visible Sunday from Yellow Jacket Hill on U.S. Highway 160 between Pagosa Springs and Bayfield, Lyon said.

Rain fell on the Yellow Fire Sunday afternoon, he said.

Lyon said another small fire, also less than one-tenth of an acre, the Cold Fire, had several helicopter drops put on it Saturday.

The Cold Fire is burning about 15 miles west of Pagosa Springs above Coldwater Creek, which feeds the Piedra River.

The Cold Fire also got rain on Sunday, Lyon said.

A third small fire in the Blanco Basin east of Pagosa Springs had been reported in the Pagosa District, but helicopter crews have not been able to find it as of Sunday afternoon, Lyon said.

“We have favorable weather, It’s dry underneath. When lightning hits, it will burn when the sun comes up and things dry out, but the fires aren’t going anywhere very fast because the surface fuels and the grass are wet or damp,” Lyon said.

parmijo@durangoherald.com