Wildfires burn in Colorado, New Mexico

May, June and July have been a relatively active wildfire season for many states across the mountain region and into the High Plains.

There are a number of active wildfires going on in Colorado and New Mexico currently. One such fire, the Spring Creek Fire, between La Veta and Alamosa, Colorado, has been burning since June 27. As of July 12, it’s reported there have been 107,967 acres burned. 

Various groups have been working to organize supplies needed to help farmers and ranchers in the areas of the wildfires.

According to the Colorado CattleWomen Facebook page, for the Spring Creek Fire, Huerfano County Extension Agent Carl Beeman and Romy Nicoletta, DMV are coordinating hay and feed donation efforts. Donations can be brought to the Huerfano County Fair Grounds, in La Veta, Colorado, and also to Nicoletta’s clinic in Walsenburg, Colorado. These two locations are also serving as an outlet for local ranches affected by the fire. 

Contact information for the vet clinic is: Rio Cucharas Vet Clinic, 22540 US 160, Walsenburg, CO; phone Dr. Romy Nicolettta 719-660-7498 or Lynn Green 719-890-0156. 

The vet clinic can only handle small square bales at this time, with no large equipment. Please call in advance with delivery day so they can gather helpers.

For the fairgrounds: Huerfano County Fair Grounds, 401 Moore Ave., La Veta, CO; phone extension agent Carl Beeman at 719-251-9911. The fair grounds can handle all sizes of bales. They have large equipment available. They would appreciate prior contact before delivering supplies.

Donations for Spring Creek are also being collected by the Spring Fire of Colorado Relief Fund at https://squareup.com/store/springfireco. The donations are being coordinated by the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation Inc., a registered 501(c)(3). Donations are tax deductible. Contribution will assist the people of Huerfano County, Colorado who have been impacted by the Spring Fire. 

According to the website https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5875, they expect the Spring Creek Fire to be contained by July 31. As of July 12, the fire is approximately 83 percent contained. 

The 416 Fire began mid-morning June 1 approximately 10 miles north of Durango, Colorado. As of July 12, approximately 54,129 acres have burned and the fire is reaching 49 percent containment. Responders estimate the fire to be contained by the end of July. They’re expecting possible heavy precipitation due to subtropical moisture combining with the seasonal monsoon flow predicted for the next week to help with extinguishing the fires.

New Mexico

As of July 12, the Morris (Moras) Creek Fire is at 1,671 acres and 60 percent contained. There are 191 personnel fighting this fire. On June 29, the Morris (Moras) Creek fire started south of the Philmont property line on private neighboring property near the Rayado River Canyon.

The Morris (Moras) Creek Fire forced the closure of the Philmont Scout Ranch July 5, according to their website. The Ranch is owned by the Boy Scouts of America. It’s been reported 14 structures at the Ranch have burned.

After careful consideration of the situation and available options, the difficult but prudent decision has been made that the Philmont backcountry will remain closed for treks and individual programs for the remainder of the 2018 summer season. This means that the following programs scheduled for this summer are canceled: 7- and 12-day treks; and individual backcountry programs, including Rayado, ROCS, Trail Crew, STEM and Ranch Hands.”

The threat of flash flooding is present over the Morris Creek Fire and Ute Park Fire Burn scars and it’s been reported highway 64 between Cimarron and Eagle Nest, New Mexico will be closed for safety when flash flood conditions exist. For road closures visit NMRoads.com.

Morris Creek Fire Information can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5887.

For more information about any wildfires burning in the country, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov.

Kylene Scott can be reached at [email protected] or 620-227-1804.

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