Apr 13, 2011 2:25 PM by Greg Boyce
A small air tanker is now aiding fire fighting efforts in Bent County near Las Animas.
An estimated 17 square miles of grass and prairie land has burned, but no structures so far. The fire is about 80 percent contained. Last night fire fighters intentionally burned about 1,500 acres east of Las Animas to rob the fire of fuel should the flames be driven toward town.
This morning efforts focused on flames on the south west side of John Martin Reservoir. A single engine air tanker is making water drops. The plane is filling up at the La Junta Airport and then making drops of about 300 gallons of water at a time. It takes about 30 minutes for the plane to make a drop, fill up and then make another drop.
About 100 fire fighters are working the fire today. They're from Bent County and nearby counties including Prowers, Baca, Lincoln, Kiowa, Otero and Crowley.