Wildfire near Electra Lake grows to 60 acres

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 8:02 PM
Durango Fire Protection District firefighters are working to contain a wildfire near Electra Lake north of Durango.

Efforts to contain the wildfire near Electra Lake north of Durango continued Saturday as firefighting crews doused hot spots.

The fire was reported at about 11:40 a.m. Friday in the 42000 block of U.S. Highway 550, on the east side of the highway.

Karola Hanks, Durango Fire Protection District fire marshal, said the fire is estimated to be about 60 acres in size as of Saturday afternoon.

“It didn’t grow overnight; it stayed within its containment,” she said.

Hanks said it is “difficult” to determine the level of containment of the fire.

“Crews are up there working on it right now, and the Forest Service sent a couple of people to help,” she said.

The fire is burning in a grassy field on private, state and federal land that is difficult for crews to access. No structures are threatened.

Hanks said air support is not available because it is the off-season for wildfires.

“The fire is in a field with hills on either side,” she said. “One side is Highway 550, and you can’t drive an engine down there. If this were the summer when helicopters were stationed, we would’ve brought in one to help us yesterday. Those resources are not available to us.”

Crews will continue to douse hot spots and build a containment line around the perimeter of the fire through the weekend.

“There are still a couple of places where smoke will be emanating from,” Hanks said.

The fire department suspended permitted open burns through the weekend and into Monday morning as a result of the fire.

Hanks said DFPD and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of the blaze.