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Upper Pine quells brush fire east of Bayfield

Blaze likely caused by ’smoking material’
The Upper Pine River Fire Protection District successfully doused a brush fire Tuesday that delayed traffic on U.S. Highway 160 near Bayfield. (Courtesy of Upper Pine River Fire Protection District)

A small brush fire on the side of U.S. Highway 160 near Bayfield temporarily disrupted traffic Tuesday evening.

Upper Pine River Fire Protection District crews responded about 7 p.m. to a fire advancing into the forest east of town near Windsong Lane. Crews arrived on scene to find a fire quickly advancing uphill.

“Crews immediate (sic) began working the left flank that was headed toward a denser stand of trees and kept the fire from advancing into the forest from the roadside,” according to a news release issued Tuesday from the fire department.

The fire, less than one-fifth of an acre in size, was contained and declared out by 9 p.m. The district suspects discarded smoking material, found at the origin of the fire, caused the blaze.

Traffic was control was put in place to ensure the safety of the crew working next to the road, the release said.

Upper Pine River Fire listed the current fire danger as “high,” the third highest of five severity levels.

Southwest Colorado can expect high winds Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, which will result in borderline red flag fire levels, according to the National Weather Service.

La Plata County did not have any fire restrictions in effect as of Wednesday.

smullane@durangoherald.com

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