Calm conditions stall Spring Creek fires growth ahead of red flag warning

The Spring Creek fire was calm Tuesday with minimal growth despite firefighters’ concerns about potentially dry and windy conditions.

The fire did not grow overnight into Tuesday and stayed at 2,932 acres, or about 4.6 square miles, with 37% containment, fire officials said. Although crews had been bracing for red flag conditions, with high wind and hot temperatures, the weather stayed favorable throughout Fourth of July morning, said fire spokesman Eric Coulter.

“It’s actually looking really good,” he said just before noon Tuesday. “It hasn’t gotten too warm yet, and the wind has stayed pretty calm … No real fire activity today, it’s been mild with some smoking and smoldering.”

He said fire crews still expect red flag conditions in the next couple of days and are preparing by strengthening existing fire containment lines. The fire is burning several miles southeast of Parachute and ignited June 24. The blaze grew significantly on June 26 — a day with hot temperatures and high winds.

“We do expect those red flag conditions for the next couple days, so we are preparing for it if it does kick up,” Coulter said.

A red flag warning was issued in the area from noon to 9 p.m., with wind gusts up to 45 mph expected, along with temperatures in high 80s and low 90s. About 540 firefighters are working on containing the blaze.

The Spring Creek fire is the largest of several blazes burning across the state.

The Chris Mountain fire, burning about 12 miles west of Pagosa Springs, grew to 477 acres Tuesday, just under a square mile. About 480 people are fighting that blaze.

The Coal Mine fire, burning on Bureau of Land Management land in Archuleta County, reached 286 acres, or about .4 square miles, Tuesday.

Firefighters also made significant progress on the 127-acre Arkansas Loop fire, which burning in La Plata County, and reached 90% containment on that blaze.

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