The Plateau and West Guard fires burning north of Dolores have rapidly expanded, in part because of back-burning efforts by firefighters.
The Plateau Fire, in Plateau Canyon north of McPhee Reservoir, has grown to 900 acres as of Monday, up from 27 acres on July 24. It was 5 percent contained.
The West Guard Fire, west of the Glade Guard station has burned 1,405 acres, up from 100 acres last week. It was 80 percent contained.
The fires are about 13 miles apart and burning on the San Juan National Forest in Dolores County. They are being managed for full suppression, said Dolores District Ranger Derek Padilla.
Between both fires, 86 personnel committed from multiple agencies are working on suppression, said public information officer Rob Kopack. Equipment includes five engines, a water tender, a helicopter, and a heavy-duty brushcutter and skidder.
“There has been quite a bit of burnout operations in Plateau over the last several days,” Kopack said. “ Plateau has got more burnout and work ahead.”
He said West Guard crews are mopping up and monitoring the fire, felling hazardous trees.
The two lightning-caused wildfires were discovered July 22 north of Dolores on the San Juan National Forest.