Two fires north of Hotchkiss were contained Saturday by the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit (MIFMU). The Oak Mesa Fire and the Chaining Fire were both started by lightning strikes.
The Oak Mesa Fire was called in to the MIFMU Thursday at midnight by Hotchkiss fire chief Doug Fritz. Located on BLM-managed lands about five miles north-northwest of Hotchkiss, firefighters had a difficult time accessing the fire scene. Chris Barth, MIFMU public information officer, said the fire burned pinion-juniper vegetation, but Friday's gusty afternoon winds did not cause the fire to go out of control. Fire behavior was described as "limited to creeping and smoldering." The fire had covered 0.1 acres by Friday.
The Chaining Fire was located on BLM-managed land about four miles north of Hotchkiss. By Friday it had reached about five acres in size. Unlike the fire on Oak Mesa, the Chaining Fire was "driven by gusty afternoon winds," Barth said. "Fire crews were able to make excellent progress on the suppression of the Chaining Fire [Friday] — largely due to the quick response of the Hotchkiss Fire Protection District and several drops from a single engine air tanker (SEAT)." The Montrose Fire Protection District also worked with the MIFMU on the Chaining Fire. On Saturday morning 20 more firefighters arrived on the scene to assist with fire suppression and mop-up of the fire.
According to the Montrose Interagency Fire Management Unit facebook site on Monday, "Fire crews report no overnight growth on either the Oak Mesa Fire or the Chaining Fire." The Chaining Fire burned an area of heavy, downed fuels, according to Barth.
The MIFMU stated both fires were contained with no threat to life or property and with no injuries.blog comments powered by Disqus