Containment For East Canyon, Loading Pen Fires Increases Under Favorable Firefighting Conditions

Jun 19, 2020

Updated 7:27 a.m., June 22

Firefighters have nearly contained two wildfires in southwest Colorado after weather over the past couple of days made conditions favorable for crews. 

As of Sunday evening, the East Canyon Fire near Mancos has grown to 2,905 acres and is now 79% contained. 

Chris Zoller, operations section chief for the Rocky Mountain Blue Team, said lighter winds made for better firefighting conditions this weekend. He has previously said that burnout operations, conducted to burn off excess fuel before a wildfire reaches it, are being done at night to minimize the risk of spread.

A statement from the Blue Team said smoke is expected to continue coming from within the fire perimeter until the next major rainfall.

To the north by Dolores, significant progress has been made on the Loading Pen Fire, now 90% contained and at 42 acres. A statement from the San Juan National Forest issued Friday evening said firefighters will continue to be released to work elsewhere or return home, while those remaining will monitor fire lines and hot spots. The fire will continue to smolder and give off smoke, mostly visible from Stoner.

No homes have been damaged in either fire.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment continues to issue air quality advisories as wildfire smoke drifts throughout southwest Colorado. If smoke gets thick in your area, the department recommends staying inside, especially for the elderly and those with heart or respiratory illnesses.

The Durango Herald reported Friday that the Six Shooter Fire near Bondad, south of Durango, has been 60% contained.

This article may be updated.