Crews Diligently Work to Contain Ward Gulch Fire in Rifle
KREX News Room
GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo.- Officials say the rapidly growing Ward Gulch Fire is north of the Rifle Gap Reservoir.
The fire started early Friday afternoon and has grown to more than 100 acres.
It's burning in grass, sage, and juniper, and is threatening structures near the fish hatchery and Rifle Mountain Park.
A very large air tanker was ordered out of Pueblo to assist in suppression efforts. Meanwhile three single engine air tankers worked throughout the day dropping retardant to try and slow the growth.
Two heavy air tankers and a helicopter were also used Friday.
Three engines, several overhead and chase crews out of the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit are on scene and 3 type II crews, each comprised of 20 firefighters were ordered to the fire.
Officials believe the blaze was started by lightning.
Residents are being asked to avoid the area.
There is an evacuation in order for the location north of the fire, as well as some national forest land directly north of the fire as well.
Also, Highway 325 has been closed in both directions 7 miles north of Rifle.