Thu June 16, 2011
Colorado Wildfires

Wildfires Keep Crews Busy in Southern Colorado

Crews battling a 25,000 acre wildfire along the Colorado-New Mexico border are up against more hot and windy weather today. The Track Fire is 20% contained. But a red flag warning in the region has fire managers concerned.

Officials say firefighters have made some progress tackling the blaze though, which is burning through rugged ponderosa pine forest between Raton, New Mexico and Trinidad, Colorado. 

Fire information officer Diane Souder says some evacuation orders are being lifted, and Interstate 25 has reopened.

"We’re cautioning people to not stop on the pass, there’s a 45 mph strictly enforced speed limit," Souder says.

Souder says travelers should be warned that the interstate could close again if conditions worsen.  The Track Fire has been fueled by windy, hot weather and extremely low humidity.  There are nearly 700 firefighters now battling the blaze.  Souder says crews feel confident that they have the resources they need, despite the other large fires burning in the region.

"Some of the people are being deployed from the other fires, and they’re coming directly to this fire here," Souder says.

The cause of the Track Fire remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, firefighters to the north near the town of Westcliffe also have their hands full battling the Duckett Fire.  That blaze has blackened nearly four-square miles and forced dozens of people from their homes.