Lowline fire expands near Gunnison, Colorado, forcing evacuations

A lightning-sparked wildfire in western Colorado near Gunnison expanded overnight and was burning across more than 681 acres Thursday morning, forcing evacuations in the area, U.S. Forest Service officials said.

This Lowline fire about 14 miles northeast of Gunnison on a ridge at elevation 9,400 feet between Squirrel and Mill creeks was devouring spruce and aspen in forests with heavy dead and fallen trees, officials said.

Firefighting ground crews, aided by three helicopters lugging buckets of water, were trying to suppress flames. County authorities ordered evacuations of ten homes and animals along County Road 818. The residents of another 40 homes were told to be ready to evacuate.

“It was pretty active. Firefighters saw trees torching overnight,” U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Niki Carpenter said. “It’s going to be active today.”

Elsewhere around Colorado, firefighters contained a fire that burned on 14 acres west of Colorado Springs in Teller County near the Florrissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Interior hotspots remain, officials said Thursday morning, and firefighters planned to mop up over the next few days.


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