Fire crews on Friday mopped up a wildfire that broke out Thursday morning south of Dolores, said Dolores Fire Chief Mike Zion.
The 2-acre Lost Canyon Fire torched trees and created spot fires in breezy conditions on a wooded slope just east of County Road 30.
But the fire is “well contained,” Zion said Friday afternoon. “The cooperation between agencies is what made it all work.”
By Thursday evening, a firebreak around the burn had been cleared by hand crews and a skidder with a plow, he said. Brush trucks and tankers, including a 1,000-gallon unit brought in by the Lewis-Arriola Fire Protection District, also were on scene to fight the fire.
The fire is being patrolled by a Type 2 federal fire crew to extinguish hot spots. A Type 2 crew is a specialized crew that is used before fire managers call on more experienced Type 1 crews, known as interagency hotshot crews.
When the fire broke out, the threat that it could move down the canyon slope toward nearby homes or move north toward Dolores triggered a request for mutual aid from local and federal fire departments.
Single-engine air tankers were also called in from Grand Junction and dumped two loads of water on the fire about 1 p.m. Thursday.
“It cooled it off for crews to work on containment,” Zion said.
At one point, about 25 firefighters were on the ground. Fire crews from Dolores, Cortez, Mancos, Lewis-Arriola, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management responded.
They could be seen hiking up the ridgeline toward the flames Thursday morning. Early fire behavior included single-tree torching with large flames visible from Road 30.
An operations base was set up next to the Montezuma County maintenance yard.
Crews worked to prevent the fire from reaching the top of the ridge, officials said. If it made a run, a fallow field to the north and gravel pits to the east provided good firebreaks.
Neighbors along Road 30 looked on with concern at the fire on a hillside just east of them.
“I’ve been creating a firebreak around my place for years, and I have plenty of hydrants,” said one man on Road 30.
The fire burned on private land. Smoldering from a previous lightning strike is the suspected cause. It was reported to dispatch about 10:30 a.m. Thursday by a nearby resident.