Firefighters are close to containing the lightning-caused East Canyon Fire that started last week southeast of Mancos.
As of Tuesday evening, the fire was 98% contained, up from 78% Monday. The Type 2 team will transition down to a Type 3 incident command team Wednesday morning.
“That’s a pretty good number to transition to,” said Deana Harms, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management. “I drove by it today, and it looked pretty quiet.”
The fire scorched 2,905 acres 2 miles southeast of Mancos. A plume of smoke was visible from Durango on June 14, the day it started.
As the wind picks up, firefighters will monitor ash to ensure it doesn’t fall into a green area of forest and ignite a fire, Harms said.
Firefighters also gained ground on the Sand Creek Fire, which started June 15 about 21 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs in the Piedra Special Management Area.
The fire was last estimated at 65 acres and was not expected to experience rapid growth.
It was not threatening any structures or communities.
“The remote terrain and high density of dangerous dead trees (snags) in and around this fire creates a difficult situation for firefighters,” according to a news release issued Tuesday afternoon by the San Juan National Forest. “This has resulted in firefighters taking a careful look at areas farther from the fire, where they can safely engage.”
Smoke from the fire was visible to the north from U.S. Highway 160 between Pagosa Springs and Bayfield.