370 acres burned in fire at Dinosaur National Monument
DENVER – A fire on Wild Mountain at Dinosaur National Monument area has burned about 370 acres, fire officials reported Sunday.
Originally, the Wild/Hacking Fire began as two separate fires, the result of lightning strikes on Thursday, but had merged into one fire by Friday. Located in a remote portion of the monument with few if any structures, the fire is not considered especially threatening but has proven difficult to get a handle on, fire management officer Joe Flores said.
“As the fire moved around, there was the potential for it to enter into terrain that would make suppression efforts, if needed, very challenging,” he said. “We also wanted to make sure that the fire did not pose any risk of moving outside the monument boundaries and impacting our neighboring land owners and managers. We achieved the objectives we were hoping for with the initial management and the suppression actions we are now taking are proving successful as well.”
The fire remains within the Colorado portion of Dinosaur National Monument. Fire managers continue to work with the Bureau of Land Management and private property owners in the area on the management of the fire. There is no threat to either the Jones Hole or Harpers Corner areas of the monument, though visitors to those areas may encounter smoke.
A total of 44 fire personnel are on the scene. This includes a 20 person fire crew from Montana, the Black Hills Fire Module, a fire crew from Dinosaur National Monument, and a helicopter. Additional monument staff are also assisting in support operations.
The Canyon Overlook and Picnic Area along the Harpers Corner Road remain closed to the public for use as a helicopter landing spot. Fire managers also ask that pilots avoid the airspace around the fire in order to not create hazards for air operations.
Visitors are advised to avoid the Wild Mountain area of the monument. The fire is not located near the Dinosaur Quarry and visitor services or facilities other than the Canyon Overlook on the Harpers Corner Road have not been affected by fire operations, officials said.