Palisade Peach Festival to continue after Friday night fire forces evacuation

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — A wildfire, which is suspected to be caused by a fireworks show, forced authorities to evacuate the Palisade Peach Festival in Mesa County Friday night, but officials announced Saturday morning the event will continue as planned.

According to our news partners KREX-TV, the fire started around 9 p.m. during the fireworks show. The station said the fire was burning along the Colorado River along the south side of the festival at River Bend Park.

Crews continued to monitor the fire throughout the night for any flare-ups, according to a Facebook post from the East Orchard Mesa Fire Department, which said it was assisted by the Grand Junction Fire Department, Clifton Fire Department, Lands End Fire Department and Palisade Fire Department.

The fired department said around 1 p.m. Saturday the fire was 80% contained.

Witnesses say the festival was evacuated within 20 minutes.

A reporter on the scene who spoke with Fox31 & Channel 2, the fire appeared to be the size of 2 to 3 football fields.

Earlier on Friday, the Palisade Fire Department had posted a Red Flag Warning on Facebook, indicating that fire danger was high. Their warning read “High temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds create favorable conditions for extreme fire behavior. Be careful with any outdoor ignition sources.”

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