Jun 18, 2010 5:15 PM by Greg Boyce, James Amos

UPDATE: Sand Dunes fire now at 5,300 acres

A wildfire burning in the Great Sand Dunes National Park is now estimated to have grown to 5,300 acres.

Park spokeswoman Carol Sperling said Friday the fire isn't threatening park facilities but it has now reached the boundary of the San Isabel National Forest. More crews are expected to join the 30 people already battling the blaze.  It's believed that lightning started the fire. It was listed at roughly 3,000 acres yesterday, but has grown amid warm, dry weather and gusty winds.

Red-flag warning are in effect in southern and central Colorado, meaning the fire danger is high because of low humidity, high temperatures and winds.

Local fire managers flew over the fire Friday.  The fire is expected to continue to spread through Saturday. Smoke may be visible in Canon City, Pueblo, Southeast Colorado and parts of New Mexico for several days.

The fire is burning in rugged, steep terrain with limited access.  Firefighter safety will be a prime concern as fire managers determine their next steps.




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