Firefighters Battling 20,000 Acre Blaze North of Maybell

fire-1-300Crews are battling a wildfire that has scorched thousands of acres in northwest Colorado.  Lynn Barclay with the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit says the Alkali Fire was reported north of Maybell at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon and made significant runs through sagebrush and grassland. Three people were forced to leave the area ahead of the fast-moving flames, which destroyed a barn and a homestead used as a part-time residence.  There are also pipelines in the area, which pose a concern for firefighters.  The last official measurement had the fire at over 8,000 acres.  While reports put the fire closer to 20,000 acres now, Barclay says a reconnaisence flight will be conducted today to get more accurate numbers.  Incident Commander Todd Wheeler with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office says “the biggest challenge for firefighters is shifting wind from thunder cells and dry fuels.”  Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire.

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