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East Canyon Fire west of Durango is now 5% contained, fire officials say

East Canyon Fire_June 16 2020
Posted at 7:32 AM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 13:10:10-04

The East Canyon Fire west of Durango stayed much calmer than expected Tuesday, officials said that evening.

Despite high winds and limited use of aircraft, the fire did not act as erratically as it had on Sunday and Monday, according to the Tres Rios Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management. It continued to move down small canyons to the east and is slowly breaching retardant lines on top of the mesa.

In addition, fire officials said they now have the fire 5% contained.

An infrared flight from Tuesday evening found the fire at 2,568 acres — a decrease from the 2,703 acres reported on Monday evening.

On Wednesday morning, both the Aurora Fire District and Colorado Springs Fire Department announced they are sending crews to help fight the East Canyon Fire.

Firefighters worked Tuesday evening to contain a small spot fire to the east of Cherry Creek Road (County Road 105). Residents along that road were previously evacuated.

A few other neighborhoods were evacuated:
· The Elk Springs subdivision at Road 46 and Road G.3 along the east side of Menefee Mountain
· The 1800 block of County Road 105 (just east of Road 46 and Road G.3)
· Areas north and south of U.S. Highway 160 from the top of Mancos Hill to the Target Tree Campground

Durango Fire Rescue said a second fire broke out south of the city Tuesday. The fire, called the Six Shooter Fire, ignited along County Road 310, just a few miles from the Colorado-New Mexico border. It was estimated at about 184 acres as of 7 p.m. Tuesday. A retardant line was set up around the fire.

In the mid-afternoon, some resources at the East Canyon Fire were diverted to this new fire.

The nearby Loading Pen Fire, which is north of East Canyon Fire, remains between 30-35 acres.

An Air Quality Health Advisory for Ozone was issued for the Colorado Springs area around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said high ozone is expected in many places along the Front Range.

Fire managers said they want to remind the public to not use drones in the area of any wildfire. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place for 10 miles around the East Canyon Fire. Due to the steep terrain in the area of the fire, crews are relying heavily on aerial resources, which cannot fly if drones are in the area.

No structures have been damaged by either fire as of Wednesday morning. Authorities did say the fire burned two pieces of person equipment near homes and a small homemade bridge on the south end.