Fire near Eagle 80 percent contained |

Fire near Eagle 80 percent contained

Dominique Taylor/dtaylor@vaildaily.comA helicopter drops water on a wildfire near Eagle Friday afternoon. The fire was about 80 percent contained as of 4 p.m.

EAGLE – A small wildfire on Castle Peak north of Eagle was about 80 percent contained Friday afternoon, despite wind gusts of up to 20 mph.

The fire, which was sparked by a lightning strike on a tree the evening of June 28, stayed at about 8 acres overnight, thanks to calm winds, cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity.

Captain Bill Kaufman of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said firefighters were working to put out small spot fires Friday morning, and were also searching for any stray embers that might have escaped the fire’s perimiter.

Helicopters from the Colorado National Guard’s High Altitude Aviation Training Site at Gypsum flew several smaller water buckets over the fire site Thursday and Friday, but had stopped flying by late morning Friday.

Crews from local and federal firefighting agencies put about 30 people and several fire engines into the fire scene Thursday evening. And, although the fire was two miles or more from the nearest structures, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office issued a “pre-evacuation notice for about 75 homes in the area on the north side of Eagle.

“We’re moving in a positive direction right now,” Kaufman said.

That pre-evacuation notice was still in place as of Friday afternoon, however. There were about 60 total firefighters on the ground, and water bucket drops were continuing as of 4 p.m.

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