SAGUACHE COUNTY — Acreage consumed by a managed fire burning in northwest Saguache County increased dramatically over the weekend, reaching a total of 1,100 acres burned.
The Ox Cart Fire, 6 miles southeast of Poncha Pass, is spreading primarily in a northerly direction. Three 20-person hotshot crews; three 20-person Type 2 handcrews; two Type 6 engines; one Type 3 and one Type 2 helicopters are on the scene. More firefighter crews and aviation are available if needed.
Mike Blakeman, Public Affairs Specialist, SLV Public Lands Center and fire public information officer, has been covering the fires since they first began and provided the reports below.
“The Ox Cart Fire was very active yesterday spreading up South Rock Creek and putting up a lot of smoke,” Blakeman wrote. “Three spot fires were detected high up on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Two did not grow and were not putting up smoke in the morning. The third spot fire is 1 acre in size, burning in isolated brush at 12,000 feet in elevation.”
Helicopters are unable to fly at this time due to wind. Fire crews are watching the situation from the Howard area. Suppression plans are being developed for the spot fire. The Ox Cart Fire and spot fire are not threatening any structures. Smoke is clearly visible from both sides of the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The Ox Cart Fire is being managed in accordance with a strategic fire plan based on Wilderness management objectives. A fire line is being constructed to confine the fire on the west side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Full suppression tactics will be used on the east side of the mountains.
The Trickle Mountain Fire, located 14 miles northwest of Saguache in a large island of timber surrounded by meadows is now reported at 100 percent containment after destroying 277 acres.
Another fire near Sheep Creek, 20 miles northwest of Saguache burned 21 acres but is now reported as 100 percent contained.