State

Jun 18, 2010 11:22 AM by Greg Boyce

Sand Dunes fire up to 3,000 acres

More warm weather is expected at the scene of a 3,000-acre wildfire burning on the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in south-central Colorado.

Park spokeswoman Carol Sperling says the fire isn't threatening park facilities, but is heading toward the San Isabel National Forest. More crews are expected Friday to join the 30 people already battling the blaze.  It's believed that lightning started the fire on June 6.  The National Weather Service has issued red-flag warnings for parts of southern and central Colorado, which means the fire danger is high because of low humidity, high temperatures and winds.

Highs in the mid-80s are expected Friday.

As a precaution, all hiking trails in the Medano Creek drainage area and Medano Pass area are closed. The Mosca Pass Trail is open for day use only; the Medano Pass Road continues to be closed from Castle Creek to Medano Pass, as are all campsites along the road. The Sand Ramp Trail is also closed at Castle Creek.

The fire is located approximately four miles north of the park Visitor Center near Little Medano Creek. At this time the fire is not posing any threats to park visitors or buildings. If the fire does begin to threaten buildings, other fire fighting techniques may be used including full suppression.

The fire is expected to continue its growth to the north and east, away from the main public access areas of the park and preserve.

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