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Grass fire contained near Highway 172

Firefighters plan to monitor fire overnight

A grass fire burned 25 to 30 acres Saturday afternoon near Highway 172 and County Road 222 in the Florida River Valley.

Despite strong winds, the fire was fully contained before 5 p.m., although firefighters planned to monitor the fire all night and return Sunday to mop up, said Battalion Chief Jeff Harris, with the Durango Fire Protection District. Several hot spots remain in cottonwoods and willows, he said.

The fire was reported at about 2:20 p.m. and had made “substantial headway” by the time firefighters arrived, he said.

“There was dense, heavy smoke blowing from south to north,” he said.

The fire burned into areas with natural barriers that allowed it to be contained, he said.

It was bounded by the Florida River to the east, a flowing irrigation ditch to the west and several roads, he said.

Firefighters have contained a fire that started Saturday in River Valley Estates near Highway 172 and County Road 222.

“We had really good access all around the fire,” he said.

In addition to using natural fire breaks, firefighters burned fuels in front of the fire to help control it, Deputy Chief Randy Black said.

Three homes were threatened near the fire, and firefighters placed firetrucks near them for their protection, Black said. The River Valley Estates subdivision, where the fire was burning, has fire hydrants so firefighters were able to knock down flames that came near homes, he said. No property was damaged in the fire, he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown, and determining the origin of the fire may be difficult because the wind blew it in several directions, he said.

A fire that started Saturday afternoon near Highway 172 and County Road 222 was controlled before 5 p.m. Firefighters plan to monitor the fire all night.

Despite the strong moisture the area has received, residents should still be conscious of fire danger on windy days this spring, he said.

While some grass is greening up, dry grasses remain from last year, he said. Certain trees, such as oak, also have not started to green up and do not have moisture in them to slow the fire, Black said.

Residents should not set control burns on windy days or leave fires unattended, he said.

“People shouldn’t let their guards down,” he said.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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