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For Immediate Release                                           Mike Gaylord (719) 429-1815
November 17, 2008                                 Roy Masinton (719) 269-8502 or (719) 429-1987 

Phantom Canyon Fire

CANON CITY, Colo. --- Twelve fire fighters from the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service will continue suppression efforts today on a wildland fire that started Sunday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. in Phantom Canyon.  The fire is estimated at 15 acres, and is burning in steep, rugged terrain about 9 miles northwest of Penrose, on the west side of Fremont County Road 67 (Phantom Canyon Road). 

Members of the Florence Volunteer Fire Department and BLM personnel responded Sunday afternoon, and began suppression efforts.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“We know where the fire started, but did not have enough time during daylight hours yesterday to complete a thorough investigation” said Roy Masinton, Royal Gorge Field Manager.

The fire is confined to BLM land and is not threatening any structures or private land.  Due to the severe terrain and hazards to firefighters, the suppression objective will be to secure the fire perimeter and prevent further spread.

“The fire is not threatening any values, but it does pose serious safety hazards for firefighters,” said Masinton. “Steep slopes with loose rock are our biggest concerns.  Based on the forecasted warm weather this week, we expect that the fire will continue to smoke and be visible in the surrounding area for a few days.”

Suppression personnel will remain on scene throughout the week to monitor and patrol the fire perimeter. 

“This incident demonstrates how dry our conditions are along the southern Front Range, and we urge the public to exercise caution.  Grasses, brush and fallen leaves are dried for the season, and until we receive adequate moisture with cooler temperatures, fire danger will remain high” said Masinton.

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Last updated: 11-17-2008