DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Crews battled two wildfires in Colorado that had burned a combined 12 square miles by Monday.

An eight-square-mile fire near Paradox was 30 percent contained but a smaller fire near Pagosa Springs was burning in terrain so steep and rugged that firefighters had no containment lines built.

“It’s probably going to be a while before we see any containment just because the terrain is so difficult to work in,” fire information officer Pam Wilson said.

The larger fire was burning on public land about four miles north of Paradox and 220 miles west of Denver near the Colorado-Utah border. No structures were threatened.

Five helicopters, nine fire engines and about 350 firefighters were on the scene. Temperatures were cooler and winds were calmer Monday than over the weekend.

sunrise hill fire Western Colorado Wildfire 30 Percent Contained

(credit: CBS)

“It’s a good day to get some firefighting done,” fire information officer David Eaker said.

Fire managers said some campers had been evacuated but the number wasn’t known. No structures have burned.

The fire started Friday, shutting down several roads in Colorado and Utah.

The wildfire near Pagosa Springs, about 200 miles southwest of Denver, had scorched four square miles. Firefighters were bulldozing a line on a ridge north of the fire and might ignite smaller fires to consume the fuel and prevent the wildfire from rushing that way, Wilson said.

About 10 homes and cabins stand at least two miles north of the fire and 30 or 40 are to the east.

little sand fire Western Colorado Wildfire 30 Percent Contained

(credit: CBS)

Wilson said 100 firefighters were on the scene and more crews were ordered. Two helicopters were available but were not being used Monday because crews haven’t been able to get close enough to the fire to utilize air-dropped water.

The fire was started by lightning on May 13, information officer Brandy Richardson said.

The Fowler fire has burned more than 150 acres of grasslands in the southeastern part of the state, but is about 95 percent contained.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Wildfire Resources

– Visit’s Wildfire Resources section.

– Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfire (Fourmile Fire) and largest wildfire (Hayman Fire) in Colorado history.


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