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Officials: Shawnee Peak Fire, which grew to 70 acres after lightning strike, is now 60% contained

2019_0831 burn boundary on NE fire perimeter .jpg
Posted at 8:32 AM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 10:40:03-04

PARK COUNTY, Colo. — The Shawnee Peak Fire, which is burning in the Lost Creek Wilderness southwest of Bailey, was estimated at 70 acres on Monday morning.

Fire officials with the Pike & San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands said the fire, which started in the afternoon of Aug. 26, is now 60 percent contained. It was estimated at 50 percent contained Sunday afternoon.

The fire was caused by a lightning strike, officials said.

On Sunday, firefighters burned some areas along the fire’s southwest perimeter, which reduced the fuels the fire could use to spread outside the containment lines. They also installed water bars along the eastern perimeter to prevent potential erosion on the downhill slope, officials said.

Infrared technology shows that the fire is still — relatively — burning very hot, with the exception of some isolated hot spots in the northwestern area, officials said.

Firefighters will continue to patrol the fire on Monday and will work on rehabilitating the firelines to minimize erosion.

As this fire moves through the forest, it is reducing the risk of a future re-ignition, officials said. Burning this old and dense vegetation forces those nutrients to return to the soil, which helps with regrowth.

If you are traveling along Highway 285 in this area, you may see some smoke, though it should be minimal.

No structures are threatened. The Ben Tyler North trailhead and trails near the fire are closed. For more details on closures, click here.

Shawnee Peak Fire - United States Forest Service
Shawnee Peak Fire - United States Forest Service