January fire season?

Agricultural burn, youth spark fires

Two brush fires, one intentionally set and one accidentally set by a youth, occurred over the weekend.

At Highway 145 and CR P property owners were burning slash piles and the fire got away from them when the winds picked up.

The controlled burn torched 8 acres of a field. There were no injuries or structure damage.

“It got to be too much for the owners to handle, so Cortez and Dolores Fire responded,” said Cortez Fire Chief Jeff Vandevoorde. “We all surrounded it and fought it for two hours. It was a good thing they called.”

Another fire at CR 31 and CR R on Summit Ridge was set by a kid, reported Dolores Fire Chief Mike Zion. The blaze burned up 2 acres, and there were no injuries or structure damage.

“It could have gotten away into Cash Canyon,” Zion said. “There is a lot of dry, tall grass there.”

No citations were issued, Zion said, but the “father of the child was informed, and we left it at that.”

Both chiefs advise people conducting controlled burns to contact dispatch and use extra caution because of the extremely dry conditions.

Colorado fire chiefs and public land agencies are being warned that a January fire season is a possibility this year in the Four Corners region.

Twenty firefighters, several brush trucks, water tenders, and fire engines responded to the fires.