The Plateau Fire Complex grew to 3,244 acres as it continues burning north of McPhee Reservoir. Drifting smoke settled as far south as Cortez and created a haze lasting until mid-morning Monday.
The complex, made up of the lightning-caused Plateau and West Guard Fires, was spotted July 22 at a combined size of roughly 10 acres. Burnout operations contributed to its quick growth but also aided with containment.
As the West Guard Fire reached 80 percent containment (up from 50 percent two days ago) and 1,405 acres, firefighters are now concentrating efforts on reducing smoke by clearing up fuel near control lines. 13 miles southeast, the Plateau Fire burns at 1,839 acres and 5 percent containment. Efforts at this fire are going toward burnouts with helicopter bucket support.
As monitoring continues for the fires, personnel are keeping an eye on thunderstorms that bring lightning but no precipitation to the region. No private property is at risk.
The latest release from San Juan National Forest lists 87 personnel assigned between the two fires and that several closures are still in effect. A detailed map of restricted Forest Service Roads can be viewed here.
Update (July 31, 3:47 p.m.): This article was updated to reflect new numbers provided by San Juan National Forest early afternoon Tuesday.