Pine Gulch Fire burning north of Grand Junction swells to 20,000 acres

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The Pine Gulch Fire burning north of Grand Junction. Credit: Bureau of Land Management

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Pine Gulch Fire burning near Grand Junction grew to 20,089 acres on Friday — an increase of more than 7,000 acres compared to the day prior.

According to firefighting officials, the growth was spurred by high temperatures, extremely low humidity and strong winds.

The fire is burning about 18 miles north of Grand Junction in Mesa and Garfield counties.

Challenging firefighting conditions are expected again on Saturday.

“If winds and slope align over the fire, there is a possibility for extreme fire behavior again today,” officials said in an update.

The fire started July 31 and was caused by lightning. It is 0% contained.

No evacuation orders are in place. However, Mesa County Road 200 is closed at the Garfield County line.

Officials say 466 people are assigned to the fire.

Smoke from the fire has drifted east onto the Front Range, where a haze was visible Saturday in places like Boulder.

An Air Quality Health Advisory has been issued for northern Mesa County and southwestern Garfield County.

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