DENVER — Four relatively small wildfires are continuing to burn in southern Colorado and along the western slope.
While storms rumble around the state, some of the fires aren't expected to see any precipitation Friday.
The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control is reminding residents and visitors to always make sure their campfires are out and properly attach trailer chains so they do not drag. As we head into the July 4 weekend, it added that fireworks are illegal on all federally managed lands.
Below are the latest updates on the Spring Creek Fire, Titan Fire, Chris Mountain Fire and Coal Mine Fire.
The Spring Creek Fire is the largest of the four current fires. It is 21% contained at 2,925 acres as of 10:50 a.m., according to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The fire broke out south of Parachute in Garfield County on June 24.
That day, firefighters and aerial crews worked to keep fires to about 200 acres on a mix of private land and Bureau of Land Management land. The fire grew on June 26, when hot, dry and windy conditions pushed it to grow beyond 2,500 acres.
The goal is to fully suppress this fire, according to Inciweb. As part of this plan, firefighters have completed indirect hand lines on the northern side of the fire, meaning they removed dry vegetation ahead of the fire to slow the fire's progress. A dozer will continue this work on the northeast side on Friday.
The fire did not grow much overnight, but helicopter crews are continuing to drop water over the hot spots as firefighters on the ground work along its southern line.
Spring Creek Road and High Mesa Road are closed to the public, but open to local traffic. There are no evacuations in place for the Spring Creek Fire, but residents in the area are encouraged to register with the Garfield County's emergency notification system at garco911.com.
The cause for this fire remains under investigation.
The second-largest fire is the Titan Fire in Las Animas County. It is 930 acres, according to the division of emergency management.
This fire broke out on June 28 north of Bon Carbo and northwest of Trinidad. It is east of County Road 51 around 7,500 feet.
If the weather allows Friday, aerial crews will help firefighters on the ground. According to Inciweb, a helicopter, fire engines and more ground crews will arrive soon. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the county until 4 p.m.
The Las Animas County Sheriff's Office has issued an evacuation for County Road 40 and 40.1. People who live east of County Road 51 within a 10-mile radius are under an evacuation order, including Timber Canyon and Ponderosa Ridge. Anybody west of County Road 51 are not under any evacuation orders. A shelter for evacuees is set up at the Trinidad Community Center.
At 6:30 a.m. Friday, the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 1 assumed management responsibility for this fire. It said the local fire divisions set them up well to fully suppress the fire and protect structures in the area.
Residents can register with the Las Animas County emergency notifications system here.
The two smallest fires burning in Colorado are both in Archuleta County. The county was not forecasted to receive any rain Friday.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued for all of Forest Service Road 628 due to the 200-acre Chris Mountain Fire. It is 0% contained.
The fire started June 28 around 3 p.m. in the San Juan National Forest Pagosa Ranger District, about 12 miles west of Pagosa Springs. It has not crossed onto private property. This fire was sparked by a lightning strike, according to Inciweb.
As of Thursday morning, firefighters were able to keep the flames away from the Devil Creek drainage while a Type 1 helicopter and large airtanker worked from above. On Friday, helicopters will continue to drop water on the southernmost end of the fire to protect private properties nearby.
The Chris Mountain Fire began to cross over retardant lines on Thursday. Those lines were put down on Wednesday and reinforced Thursday, but are only effective when they're wet.
More resources will arrive Friday to help combat this fire. Rocky Mountain Team 3 Complex Incident Management Team will take command of the fire at 6 p.m. Friday.
The 286-acre Coal Mine Fire, also in Archuleta County, is located along the lower end of County Road 500 at Coal Mine Canyon. Multiple resources are on the ground and one helicopter is working above the fire.
Pre-evacuation notifications are in place for residents who are between milemarker 8 and 15 on County Road 500.
To sign up for emergency notifications in Archuleta County visit its emergency operations website here.