Log In

Reset Password

Gould Fire northeast of Dolores burns 28 acres

The Gould Fire has burned 28 acres in the Taylor Mesa area in the Dolores River Valley. (Courtesy San Juan National Forest)
Wildfire on Taylor Mesa is 30% contained

The Gould Fire northeast of Dolores had burned 28 acres and was 30% contained as of Tuesday morning, according to the San Juan National Forest.

The lightning-caused fire, reported Sunday afternoon, is near the top of a ridge west of the Taylor Mesa Road and north of Colorado Highway 145.

Fire crews made significant progress Monday building hand line around the fire despite rugged terrain, according to a San Juan National Forest Facebook post.

Tuesday, crews continued to build hand lines and use a Type 2 helicopter for water support.

The fire is being fought for full suppression, said Esther Godson, public affairs officer for the San Juan National Forest. No structures were threatened.

Smoke is visible from Colorado 145, and signs alert travelers.

A single engine air tanker dropped fire retardant on the Gould Fire burning in rugged terrain west of the Taylor Mesa Road northeast of Dolores. (Courtesy San Juan National Forest)

Fifty firefighters had been assigned to fight the fire, Godson said.

Crews from the San Juan National Forest, San Juan Hotshots, Craig Hotshots, Tava Module, Dolores Volunteer Fire Department, single engine air tankers and Durango Helitack responded when the fire started.

The low-intensity fire has exhibited smoldering and creeping behavior. Recent rains, green vegetation, improved humidity and cold nighttime temperatures have kept fire activity low.

Also, the Columbine Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest has a reported small fire near Wallace Lake, on Missionary Ridge.

Fire crews were on scene and will use a helicopter for support with bucket drops. The fire burned in rugged terrain and no values were threatened. Smoke is visible from U.S. Highway 550.

Wildfire conditions, resources

A Red Flag warning has been issued for Southwest Colorado for today through 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels increase the risk for wildfire ignition and rapid spread.

Forecasts show Southwest Colorado has above-normal fire potential, said Tracy Milakovic, fire management officer for the Dolores Ranger District.

In an email to The Journal, Milakovic stated the forecast calls for higher-than-normal temperatures and lower precipitation than usual through at least the beginning of summer.

“We can hope our monsoons show up this year, but as we’ve seen in the recent past, they are not always dependable,” Milakovic stated.

Two Type 6 wildland fire engines and a Type 4 wildland engine staged in the area along with an attack module from the Dolores Public Lands Center, which is an interagency office between the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Other wildfire apparatus from federal agencies that support the Forest Service, and vice-versa, are the National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs (Ute Mountain and Southern Ute agencies).

The Dolores Ranger District also works mutually with the fire protection districts in the area that have wildland apparatus, specifically Cortez, Dolores, Lewis-Arriola, Mancos, Pleasant View, Egnar, Dove Creek, Fort Lewis and Rico.

“We will have various aircraft — helicopters and fixed-wing — available to us that we can use throughout the fire season,” Milakovic stated.