Brush Fire In Whitewater Quickly Brought Under Control
Some folks in the Grand Valley might have experienced flashbacks of the Pine Gulch fire on Wednesday.
A lot of people, no doubt, noticed quite a bit of smoke rising into the air west of Grand Junction on Wednesday (Feb. 24.) In light of last year's monumental Pine Gulch Fire and this year's dry winter in the Grand Valley, it would be understandable if we are all a bit paranoid when it comes to potential wildfires.
Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire
As it turned out, there was a brush fire Wednesday in Whitewater, west of the Mesa County Landfill, and, fortunately, it wasn't large. The Mesa County Sheriff's Office Wildland Fire Team responded to the fire burning in five to seven acres between the railroad tracks and the Gunnison River. BLM, Grand Junction Fire Department, and Lands End Fire Protection District also responded to the fire.
Fortunately, no structures were immediately threatened by the fire and railroad traffic was temporarily halted as crews worked to extinguish the fire. Late Wednesday, the fire was reported to be under control.
What Caused the Fire?
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says the cause of the fire is under investigation. However, it is suspected that a spark from a passing train may have ignited the fire.
How Big Was the Fire?
According to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, the Whitewater fire ended up growing to more than 7 acres, but the sheriff's office did not have an exact size. Crews continued mop-up duty and monitored the fire overnight.
We've Only Just Begun
Fortunately, this fire looked a lot worse than it actually was, but it serves as a reminder of the danger and threat of wildfires in Western Colorado as we move toward warmer weather. While it has been relatively dry this winter in the Grand Valley, we are certainly hoping for plenty of spring showers to help diminish the threat of wildfires we face in the dry and hot summer months ahead. We have a long way to go until the end of the wildfire season.