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Cloud Cover Helps Firefighters Battling Alkali Fire

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MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- Fire crews are closely watching hot spots in a massive wildfire still burning in Moffat County.

The Alkali Fire has burned 10 square miles of land in the far northeast corner of Colorado near Maybell.

Two buildings have been destroyed and three people had be be rescued as the fire really started to burn unchecked.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“My fire management officer came out, got the victims out of the fire and at this point we started issuing resources,” said Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz.

Firefighters said the cloud cover helped them make progress fighting that fire on Thursday.

“A little bit of residual monsoon moisture came in and held the clouds and the relative humidity held 30 percent which helped our firefighting efforts lay down this fire,” said Jantz.

Hot temperatures and strong wind fueled the fire on Wednesday, charring tens of thousands of acres in just a few hours.

The Alkali Fire burning in Moffat County (credit: CBS)

The Alkali Fire burning in Moffat County (credit: CBS)

“This is our driest two weeks of the season in Moffat County,” said Jantz.

The region has received very little moisture in recent months which has dried out the grass and sage brush.

“Just the dry conditions, the wind conditions, but more so the fuel conditions,” said Jantz.

About 70 firefighters are working to keep the fire from spreading bigger than 20,000 acres.

“Our concern is as it heats up and the temperature gets to the hottest part of the day at 5 o’clock with the winds that it may kick up again,” said Jantz.

What started the fire is not known but investigators are taking a closer look that it may be human caused.

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Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

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– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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