Winds spread 3 large wildfires in northwest Colorado

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MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. — Erratic winds helped push three large fires in northwestern Colorado over the weekend.

A lightning-caused fire was quickly spreading in several directions and threatening some structures, officials said.

The Pine Tree Fire has burned 4,443 acres of sagebrush, grassland and small trees since it started Saturday about 15 miles south of Maybell in Moffat County.

It’s not known how many structures are threatened. Officials said they have yet to establish containment lines around the fire.

Firefighters used burnout operations as well as aircraft to drop several loads of retardant to try to slow the fire.

Gusty, erratic winds were displaying “extreme” behavior in the fire, officials said.

Moffat County Road 57 was closed between U.S. 40 and Colorado Highway 64 because of the fire.

The Deep Creek Fire was at 4,112 acres and 62 percent containment on Monday. Nearly 300 firefighters have fought the fire nine miles northeast of Hayden.

Firefighters have made “significant” progress in fighting the fire since it was first reported on Sept. 4. Structures that previously were threatened have since been considered secure.

The Big Red Fire was at 2,931 acres and 15 percent containment on Monday.

The lightning-caused fire was first reported Aug. 19 five miles south of the Colorado-Wyoming state line and 45 miles north of Steamboat Springs.

It’s burning in mixed conifer, which includes spruce, fir, pine, and live and bug-killed timber.