NEWS: Sunday May 23, 2010

May 23rd @ 4:44 pm in News by Scott Staley

Fire officials say downed powerlines near Highway 145 and Goodenough Road are the cause of a 3,000-acre fire burning near Norwood today.
beaverfire3pmsundayFire activity intensified this afternoon as wind gusts picked up. The most intense activity has been to the north and east in MacKenzie Canyon. Additional resources have been sent to provide structure protection for homes in the Sanborn Park and Brown’s Ranch areas. Some residents there are preparing to move their animals from the area, but no evacuations have been ordered at this time.

The fire started around 2:30 yesterday afternoon near Highway 145 and Goodenough Road, and quickly grew fueled by wind gusts that reached 60 miles an hour at times. High winds are gusting again today.

About 180 firefighters are working the fire this afternoon.

No structures have been burned and no homes have been evacuated at this time.

Officials are encouraging residents in areas around Wrights Mesa, Brown Ranch, Iron Springs, MacKensie Mesa and along Sanborn Park Road to stay alert today. They say residents in the area should be sure brush, trees and other flammable materials are cleared away from their homes.

Residents are also encouraged to sign up for the county’s WENS program, which will alert residents in the event evacuations are necessary. Residents can sign up via the San Miguel County website at http://www.sanmiguelcounty.org/.

Highway 145 is currently open.
The San Miguel River remains closed between Deep Creek and Norwood Bridge. Two small campsites in the area were evacuated Saturday afternoon.

Resources on the fire include five MIFMU engines from Norwood and Montrose, two hotshot crew from Durango and Monument, and an inmate hand crew from Rifle. Local fire engines and crews from Telluride and Norwood are also assisting.

The fire is burning on Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service land near the San Miguel/Montrose county border, in oak brush and pine trees.

The public can call the fire information line for updates at 970-240-1070.
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(All photos courtesy of BLM)
Source: Press Release    (Posted 4:43p)