Durango – October 18, 2012, 10:30 am - Air resources - including heavy air tankers, single engine air tankers and helicopters - have been ordered to help fight area wildfires. Weather permitting, these could be arriving by late morning. The Vallecito Fire is burning about one mile west of Vallecito Reservoir in the San Juan National Forest and has been threatening the Lake Vista Estates subdivision on the west side of Vallecito Reservoir. The Vallecito Fire is estimated at 200 to 250 acres. The Little East Fire, estimated at 80 to 100 acres, is burning on private and BLM lands in the East Canyon and Cherry Creek area near the La Plata/Montezuma county line. Substantial ground crews are working both fires, as well.
Two heavy air tankers from Albuquerque will begin dropping fire retardant on the Vallecito Fire within the hour.
A Type 1 helicopter will be arriving at the Durango Air Tanker Base and will also be headed to Vallecito soon thereafter.
Two single engine air tankers ordered from Fort Collins are headed to the Little East Fire this morning, as well.
The Goblin Fire above the Animas Canyon has become active again and is estimated at about 600 acres in the West Needles portion of the San Juan National Forest Weminuche Wilderness. Two USFS firefighters are en route to monitor the fire, which has been determined to have been started by a spark from the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in early October. Smoke has been visible in the afternoons north of Durango.
The Crazy Creek Fire on Missionary Ridge in the San Juan National Forest is estimated at 3 ½ acres, with containment is expected later today. A five-person hotshot squad has been working on the fire, which has been determined to have been started by lightning.
Meanwhile, a small wildfire, estimated at ¼ to ½ acre, has been reported in the South Hope Creek drainage 10 miles northwest of Hermosa in the San Juan National Forest. It is currently being monitored by air.