UPDATE at 3:28 MT, March 19, 2012: The Colorado Division of Emergency Management issued this update at 1:20 p.m. MT today. Scroll down to see our original post:
Below is information received from GayLene Rossieter, Acting Fire Information Officer, Colorado State Forest Service.
(Updated 1:20 p.m., March 19)
Fire Jurisdiction: Yuma County
Location/County: South of Highway 34 between towns of Eckley and Yuma in Yuma County
Start Date: Sunday, March 18, approximately 1:15 p.m.
Cause: Under investigation, but potentially due to a downed power line from high winds
Acres/Land Ownership: Approximately 24,000 acres of half grass/crop fields on private lands
Containment: 100 percent
Evacuations: The evacuation order for the town of Eckley was lifted late last night; the approximate 200-square mile evacuated area around the fire was lifted today
Closures: Highway 34 reopened from the town of Eckley to County Road L
Injuries to Date: Three firefighters injured
Structures Lost/Damaged: Two homes destroyed; other structure damages still to be determined
Other Values at Risk: Number of livestock lost currently undetermined
Significant Events: High winds and thick smoke mixed with dirt decreased during the night, helping firefighter contain the fire. Today, fire crews and deputies drove through the burn area to manage hot spots and flare-ups. The Civil Air Patrol surveyed the extent of the fire’s damage earlier today.
Resources: Primarily local emergency response agencies, including nine volunteer fire departments and four other volunteer fire departments on standby. Regional agencies from northeast Colorado and western Kansas also assisted to control the fire.
Original post at 8:00 a.m. MT, March 19, 2012:
One of the firefighters that was burned on the Heartstrong fire in northeastern Colorado’s Yuma County (map) that Wildfire Today told you about yesterday was injured more seriously than first reported. Here is an excerpt from The Denver Channel:
Two firefighters were injured fighting the fire. One was treated for minor injuries on Sunday and released, [Deanna] Herbert [spokeswoman for Yuma County] said.
Another firefighter, Jennifer Struckmeyer, has second- and third-degree burns on her fingers, arms, side, leg and more. Her mother-in-law told 7NEWS when the firefighters were running back to the truck, Struckmeyer tripped and boot came off. Struckmeyer told her mother-in-law she prayed while the fire swept over her.
The fire continues to burn Monday morning but is 90 percent contained. It has burned at least two homes and approximately 53,000 acres but will be mapped more accurately today. The 200-300 residents that evacuated from the small town of Eckley were allowed to return Sunday night.
The 35-40 mph south winds with gusts up to 59 that pushed the fire yesterday decreased gradually during the night and are presently at 9 mph out of the west.