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Release Date: 10/09/12
Contacts: David Boyd, Public Information Officer, 970 319-4130    

Crews to continue monitoring Highway 13 Fire Small, nonthreatening smokes likely to continue (10-07-12)

RIFLE, Colo. – With the majority of firefighting resources leaving the Highway 13 Fire after today, fire officials believe any additional growth of the fire is unlikely. However, occasional smoke may be seen from unburned pockets of vegetation within the interior of the fire.

“Given the extreme terrain within some of the fire’s perimeter, it’s simply not worth the risk of injury to firefighters to knock down every smoke that may pop up on sunny afternoons over the next few days,” said Incident Commander Ross Wilmore. “These smokes pose little threat. Local firefighters from the Upper Colorado River Unit will continue to be on-scene monitoring the fire and will take action if necessary.”

About 50 firefighters continued to secure containment lines around the 991-acre fire today, supported by a heavy helicopter and a light helicopter. The fire is 15 miles north of Rifle, predominately on Bureau of Land Management-administered lands.

Fire officials continue to consider the fire 80 percent contained because the last remaining area without containment lines is in a very steep and rugged section on the southeast corner of the fire.

“We have hit that area hard from the air over the past few days, and any new growth is extremely unlikely,” Wilmore said. “The difficult terrain in this section of the fire is not safe for firefighters on the ground. Because we won’t actually build fire line in this area, we won’t call the fire 100 percent contained.”

The Upper Colorado River Interagency Management Unit took over management of the fire Wednesday night, with critical support from the Colorado Division of Fire Safety, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, and a number of local jurisdictions that included the Colorado River Fire Authority, and Grand Valley Fire Protection District.

Updated information will continue to be available at or by calling 970 456-3623.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 10-09-2012