MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Strong winds forced a wildfire to jump the Colorado River and Interstate 70 near Fruita in Mesa County in western Colorado on Thursday afternoon.
The interstate was closed in both directions between the Fruita and Loma exits for several hours. The highway reopened Thursday evening.
A Type I helicopter was making water drops on the flames as the fire crossed I-70.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said power lines near the fire were de-energized for firefighter and public safety.
Xcel Energy customers in Fruita and in the Redlands were impacted by the power outage.
I-70 CLOSED (at Loma and Fruita) #IslandSkipperFire #MesaCounty #GrandJunction #LomaCO #FruitaCO Motorists are urged to drive with caution and be aware of possible high winds and potential poor visibility. ALT RT: US 50 & US 6. pic.twitter.com/HMwdoZloUx
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) April 19, 2018
No structures were threatened at midafternoon by the Skipper Island Fire.
#BREAKING: Interstate 70 has been shut down in both directions near mile marker 18 due to the Skipper Island Fire jumping the interstate.
Photo via CDOT traffic camera. Smoke from the fire can be seen from the Loma exit. pic.twitter.com/PF8I7X5gXz
— KJCT8.com (@KJCTNews8) April 19, 2018
There were reports from officials a campfire might have started the wildfire.