Crews have lines around the 12 acre Arkansas Loop Fire in southeast La Plata County, and today’s plan is to keep the blaze within fire lines, put out hot spots and mop up.
The fire is burning in piñon, juniper and brush in the Bondad area in southeastern La Plata County, about half a mile south of the intersection of county roads 310 and 318, said Rich Gustafson, incident commander with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency Fire Management Team.
“We caught it early, when it was still small. We didn’t have the impacts we had in the Six Shooter Fire. We didn’t have to shut-in wells,” he said.
The blaze was started by a dry lightning strike either Friday or Saturday, he said.
The strike tree that ignited the fire has been identified.
“We were getting lightning in that area Friday and Saturday,”he said.
The fire did not grow overnight. However, the size of the fire was increased from 9 acres on Saturday to 12 acres on Sunday because of better overnight mapping, not because the blaze grew, Gustafson said.
The National Weather Service lists a 30% chance for thunderstorms for the Bondad area on Sunday.
Thirty-eight people are working the blaze, including two 10-person fire suppression teams.
Two fire engines are on site and a helicopter out of Durango-La Plata County Airport is on standby to help with fire-suppression efforts, Gustafason said.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Los Piños Fire Protection District sent on-the-ground resources. Durango Helitack and several other regional fire agencies from as far as Pagosa Springs also have assisted.
“We got good rain in the area, but it’s just dried out a little bit in between storms. The fact that it only went 12 acres shows that it can burn, but it doesn’t want run,” Gustafason said. “If you get the right wind at the right time of day and it hits a slope with fuels – all those things line up, and we can still get a fire,” he said.