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Needles Fire at Purgatory Resort north of Durango 100% contained

Cause of blaze remains under investigation
The Needles Fire, burning on 6 acres near Lift 2 at Purgatory Resort, was listed as 100% contained Sunday night.

The 6-acre Needles Fire was listed as fully contained Sunday night with firefighters continuing to mop up and monitor the burn area.

Esther Godson, spokeswoman with the San Juan National Forest, said resources now assigned to the fire will be released to other fires and assignments as warranted as the fire subsides.

The cause of the blaze, which started Wednesday, has not been determined, and an investigation is underway.

About 20 firefighters worked to complete and secure fire lines and to began mop-up operations Sunday.

The fire was burning in mixed conifer near Lift 2 at Purgatory Resort, north of Durango.

Good roads in the area and accessible terrain aided firefighting efforts.

On Sunday, Godson said, “There’s been no growth since the initial attack. Operations have been going really well. Even though there hasn’t been any significant relative humidity recovery overnight, they’ve still been able to make progress just using the tenders to supply water.”

As of Sunday, two helicopters, five engines and two water tenders were assigned to the blaze.

It hasn’t rained in Southwest Colorado since early September, leaving fuels in the San Juan National Forest dry and fire-prone.

On Wednesday, the day the blaze started, the 10-hour moisture reading for grasses showed a 2% moisture level.

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in place in the San Juan National Forest.

The fire restrictions ban any fires other than fires contained to developed recreation sites that have established cement or metal fire pits. Open blazes are banned.

The fire restrictions also ban smoking except in buildings or vehicles. Also, anyone using a chainsaw must have a spark arrestor.


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