Many people in the Denver metro area were able to see a large glow and considerable smoke coming from the Western Slope on Monday evening as the sun was setting. Firefighters have been responding to wildfires in Garfield County since the weekend. It took only a few hours during a Red Flag Warning day for the largest burn to jump across thousands of acres.
The Spring Creek Fire rapidly spread to around 3,000 acres on Monday afternoon near Parachute during a Red Flag Warning in Garfield County. Mina Bolton, a public information officer responding to the fire, told CBS News Colorado the sky was clear, and the fire still remained around 200 acres when winds heavily impacted the spread of the fire by the afternoon.
Bolton said, as the day went on, the wind drove up the flames and spread considerably. Rapid spread goes hand-in-hand with a Red Flag Warning like the one Garfield County experienced on Monday, Bolton explained.
The Spring Creek Fire began on Saturday and remained at around 200 acres during the morning. Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management was posting on social media about the progress crews were making to secure a perimeter before confirming the sharp increase.
Prior to the massive growth in the burn, more than 150 crew members and aviation resources were already responding to the fire. The interagency did say, "current high temperatures, dry fuels, low humidity, and windy conditions may increase wildfire behavior."
Another fire was sparked by an ATV that caught fire on Sunday near Rifle at Hubbard Mesa, and it burned 5 to 10 acres of land before a helicopter was flown and dropped a bucket of water over the fire to contain the blaze.
Bolton confirmed a complex incident management team had been assigned to manage the response to the Spring Creek Fire as of Monday night.
There were no reports of endangerment to any residential or commercial areas in Parachute or other Garfield County communities.
Ultimately, Grand County Sheriff's Office will make the call if evacuations become necessary, but none were in place Monday night.
Anyone who wants to receive alerts and stay updated about the Spring Creek Fire can visit the Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority website.
for more features.