NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

Wildfire at John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area is fully contained

Fire burned area of threatened Colorado bird species
March 30 2021 fire in John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area
Posted at 1:45 PM, Mar 31, 2021

BENT COUNTY, Colo. — A wildfire that broke out Tuesday in the John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area is now fully contained, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, however officials are concerned that it burned habitat of a threatened species.

The fire began burning Tuesday afternoon in the northwestern area of the state wildlife area, which is east of Fort Lyon. CPW said it broke out near Gageby Creek between Bent County Roads 17 and 18. It was burning tamarisk (a small shrub) and cattails in an area that was mostly inaccessible.

Location of March 30 2021 fire in John Martin Reservoir State Wildlife Area

CPW said the fire was concerning because it was habitat to Colorado's threatened black rail bird. These small birds are known for their "kookaburra-like call" and live in marshy areas, according to CPW.

CPW said an exact acreage for the wildfire isn't available, but a later flyover will determine how many aces burned.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

No evacuations were ordered and no structures were damaged.