A wildfire near Grand Junction grew to 1,020 acres Sunday as crews struggled to fight the blaze in steep, rough terrain.
The Pine Gulch fire was started by lightning Friday evening and is burning about 19 miles north of Grand Junction, largely on Bureau of Land Management land, although it did reach private property Sunday. The flames have not destroyed or threatened any structures.
About 86 people were working to contain the fire Sunday, and another 60 personnel have been requested to bolster the effort, along with additional equipment, said Maribeth Pecotte, the Bureau of Land Management’s public information officer for this fire.
The fire is being fed by dense, dry vegetation, as well as ongoing drought conditions in Mesa County. Sunday afternoon thunderstorms aren’t expected to drop any rain on the area, but could bring gusty winds that spread the fire further, Pecotte said.
Three helicopter crews are working the fire and a tanker has been requested, Pecotte said.
“They’re calling it a fuel-driven fire,” she said. “There are continuous fuels on that north side of the ridge that it is burning on … it started on the south side of the ridge there, and some fingers of it started creeping over and downslope to the north into that heavy, continuous fuel.”
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