Another lightning triggered wildfire has singed 485-acres near Rifle Gap Reservoir. The Ward Gulch Fire is located roughly 3-miles north of the popular state park and reservoir outside of the town of Rifle.
Hwy 325 near Rifle remains closed north of its intersection with Grass Valley Road. Residents with homes within the closure area being allowed through. Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle Mountain Park, and the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery are closed. Rifle Gap State Park is open, but closed to boating due to the helicopter activity.
Some residents were evacuated from their homes over the weekend but have since been allowed to return to their residences.
More than 300 firefighters and three helicopters are working the fire. The fire is now 60-percent contained and has not grown significantly since Friday.
Fremont County health officials are warning residents near the Royal Gorge fire that their food may be unsafe to eat if power to their homes was disrupted by the 3,285-acre inferno. Hundreds of evacuees near Canon City have been allowed to return home but are being urged to throw out the contents of their refrigerators and freezers. One Fremont County Health official says “When in doubt throw it out.”
The Royal Gorge Fire is now 100-percent contained but mop up operations continue. Traffic on Highway-5o in the area is once again flowing unimpeded.
The massive Black Forest Fire in Colorado Springs is now 15,500-acres big and 55-percent contained. Flames have destroyed 473 structures and thousands of people remain under an evacuation order. The fire is now 55-percent contained and fire fighters hope to have it under full containment by Thursday.
The Big Meadows Fire just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park has charred 604-acres and is 75-percent contained. A National Park spokesperson says that five of the seven trail closures posted in the area of the fire have been lifted and the park and roads remain open.