Two dozen wildfires singe south-central Colorado |

Two dozen wildfires singe south-central Colorado

Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post

Firefighters in Colorado are battling one major fire and doused about 22 smaller wildland fires caused by lightning strikes, officials said today.

The major blaze, called the Tabeguache Creek fire, is approximately 8 miles north of Nucla. It started with a lightning strike Saturday and is threatening structures.

Two 20-person hotshot crews, 14 smokejumpers, three engines, two bulldozers and one helicopter are fighting the blaze, said Lee Ann Loupe, spokeswoman for the Montrose Interagency Fire Management team.

After an aerial survey Tuesday the estimated size of the fire was reduced from from 1,260 acres to 835. Fire lines surround three-quarters of the blaze but there was no firm estimate on containment Tuesday, Loupe said.

The blaze is burning stands of pinon, juniper, aspen and pine in the Uncompahgre National Forest.

Although there was a red-flag warning Monday, the winds were less severe than expected, which allowed firefighters to cut fire lines to protect private property, Loupe said.

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