Small fires flare up over weekend

RBC I Fire crews from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit have responded to several small fires in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. All are lightning caused and less than two acres at this time. No structures are threatened.The three fires in Rio Blanco County are on Bureau of Land Management public land managed by the White River Field Office. The Monument Fire started Saturday and the Rangely Rural Fire Protection District responded with two engines while the NWCFMU sent a squad of firefighters and an engine from Dinosaur National Monument. Due to steep, tough terrain, smokejumpers were ordered and dropped into the roughest part of the fire. The fire was contained Sunday and was held to 1-3/4 acres.The Black Mountain Fire was reported around 10 a.m., Monday, July 25, in the Black Mountain Wilderness Study Area. A BLM engine provided initial response and six smokejumpers were re-routed from the Monument Fire to aid in fighting the Black Mountain Fire. No containment time is estimated at this time and the fire is 1-1/2 acres.The Kendall Fire is eight miles southwest of Meeker and is 1-1/2 acres. Two BLM engines and one fire manager are assigned. This fire is being managed to promote a vegetative mosaic which will leave cover for wildlife and diversify the age of the plants for range health. The Kendall Fire was reported July 18.The Upper Disaster Fire is in Moffat County southwest of Jack Springs on the Dinosaur National Monument. The fire was reported Saturday evening and two smokejumpers were assigned. Containment was accomplished Sunday around 1:30 p.m. and was kept to one-tenth acre.“Recent rain has helped minimize fire growth and intensity,” said Dave Toelle, assistant fire management officer. “Once grasses cure and the monsoonal flow dries up however, we will return to more typical fire behavior for this time of year.”