The Plateau Fire burning north of Dolores has nearly tripled in size since Monday, in part because of back-burning efforts by firefighters.
The fire, in Plateau Canyon north of McPhee Reservoir, has grown to 2,800 acres as of Tuesday evening, up from 1,000 acres on Monday.
The fire was 5 percent contained, and containment was estimated for Aug. 15.
Back-burn operations continued on the east side of East Fork of the Plateau drainage out to Forest Service Roads 524A and 524, according to the latest update Tuesday from public information officer Rob Kopack. Burnout operations also continued on the west side from the canyon rim west to FSR 523A1 and south to FSR 524, Kopack said on InciWeb.
Fire activity was expected to be moderate on Wednesday morning and active in the afternoon.
Weather conditions included temperatures in the 80s, low humidity and 10 to 15 mph winds.
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 on Tuesday.
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.
A combined 99 personnel from multiple agencies are working on the fires, Kopack said. Equipment includes five engines, a water tender, a helicopter, and a heavy-duty brushcutter and skidgeon.
“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, and felling hazardous trees. The fire was described as “smoldering.”
The two lightning-caused wildfires were discovered July 22 north of Dolores on the San Juan National Forest.