Simms Fire burns over 300 acres southwest of Montrose

Montrose, Colo (KREX) — Residents near Government Springs Road and Wildcat Canyon were on high alert Thursday afternoon after a wildland fire started burning in the area.

Deana Harms, with the Bureau of Land Management, says, “the fire was reported yesterday, Thursday, May 19th at approximately 3:45 pm, and fire resources were dispatched immediately out there, and they ordered additional resources and engines, little bit of heavy equipment and air resources.”

A Bureau of Land Management official says crews fought the fire hard with heavy air tankers and helicopters, including retardant and water. Flames quickly grew to over 370 acres on Thursday evening, but according to Bureau of Land Management officials, showed no signs of growth overnight.

Harms also says, “we used the multisession aircraft to get the size and that size was determined around 6 p.m. yesterday.” On Friday, the fire continued burning in the area, so fire officials continued taking action.

Harms added, “they were able to put hand lines and dozer lines on the southern flank of the fire.” About three-quarters of line extend around the fire boundaries and crews are still using air tankers to help assist fire crews on the ground. The ultimate question is, what ignited the fire? “They believe the fire started somewhere around the forest service boundaries to private land, where exactly it started is exactly unknown and how it started is unknown,” says Harms.

To keep the public safe, fire officials are asking residents to avoid the area and honor emergency closures and some households were evacuated.

Source: Grand Junction Local News | Simms Fire burns over 300 acres southwest of Montrose