East Canyon Fire burning 6 miles south of Mancos

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 12:39 AM
The area of the East Canyon Fire

The lightning-caused East Canyon Fire, 6 miles south of Mancos, reached about 1 acre in size.

The fire was reported Monday to the Durango Interagency Dispatch Center and was just west of the Montezuma-La Plata county line in the East Canyon drainage, according to Chris Asbjorn, of the Bureau of Management’s Tres Rios Field Office.

Resources on scene included a Hotshot and hand crew, two fire engines and two helicopters, Asbjorn said. Single-engine air tankers applied retardant around the fire, and three fire engines were placed in the Cherry Creek area as a precautionary measure. No structures or private property were in danger.

Smoke remained visible as firefighters work to contain the fire.

The Montezuma County Board of Commissioners on Monday lifted its countywide fire ban after Cortez Fire Protection District Chief Jay Balfour said lower temperatures and increased humidity decreased fire risk.

The ban, which prohibited open fires and use of firecrackers, had been in place since April 16 because of drought conditions and local wildfires.

The Tres Rios Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and the San Juan National Forest lifted their fire bans in July. Mesa Verde National Park lifted its fire ban on Sept. 6.

The county remains in the exceptional drought category, the worst level, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.