Lion Fire burns 229 acres, structures and vehicles; full containment expected today

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A spotter plane flies into the smoke plume of the ‘Lion Fire.’ April 7, 2020.
Caitlin Walker | Herald Times

UPDATED 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 8

MEEKER | Fire crews from the Meeker Volunteer Fire Department, BLM, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office and the state’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control responded to a fire in Lion’s Canyon about 3 miles west of Meeker at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The fire is believed to have started near an unoccupied mobile home which was destroyed in the fire, along with several outbuildings and multiple vehicles, according to Meeker Fire Chief Luke Pelloni. The cause of the fire is still unknown.


Within a few hours, gusty winds expanded the fire to 229 acres, 29 of which were on BLM land. About half a dozen residents were evacuated temporarily.

Pelloni said about 30 people worked on the fire Tuesday, and 12 to 15 would be back out Wednesday “mopping up.” They hope to achieve full containment by the end of the day.

A press release from the RBC Sheriff’s Office Wednesday said residents can expect to still see smoldering parts and even small amounts of smoke coming from the fire area until the mop-up period is complete. Expect to see firefighters in the area coming and going until this is complete.

Update, 3:40 p.m. Tuesday
RBC Sheriff stated at approximately 3:40 p.m. there was ‘no sense of urgency’ for residents on County Road 7 or in town.

Update, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an Air Quality Alert due to wildfire smoke in our area, in effect until 9 a.m. tomorrow. Those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young and the elderly may want to remain indoors.

If visibility is less than 5 miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy, per CDPHE.




The Lion Fire is just over China Wall northwest of town. Caitlin Walker | Herald Times
A spotter plane flies over the ‘Lion Fire.’ Caitlin Walker | Herald Times


Firefighter Charlie Day prepares to head the scene. Caitlin Walker | Herald Times


High winds are blowing smoke into the White River Valley and beyond. Caitlin Walker | Herald Times


The scene about a quarter of a mile up from Highway 64. Caitlin Walker | Herald Times