West Fork fire complex burns 95,775 acres

June 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM
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PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo., June 30 (UPI) -- The West Fork wildfire complex has burned 95,775 acres in Colorado as of Sunday and is about 2 percent contained, officials said.

Evacuation orders for South Fork were lifted Friday; however, the fire complex, which is made up of the West Fork, Papoose and Windy Pass fires, is still burning, The Denver Post reported.

Some South Fork residents have yet to return to their homes because of smoke still in the area, said Laura McConnell, a spokeswoman for the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team.

"Some folks opted to get what they need and [said], 'We'll be back in a week or so,' and not live with the smoke," McConnell said. "It's like living with wildlife. You know [the fire is] there, you know it's unsafe and you have to live with it."

More than 1,400 firefighters are working to contain the fire, McConnell said.

"It's just now the fire's reaching a point where they can kind of go offensive with it instead of defensive," she said.

The West Fork complex was sparked by lightning on June 5.

Meanwhile, the East Peak fire, which was sparked on June 19, has burned 13,571 acres southwest of Walsenburg, but was 95 percent contained as of Saturday evening, KAOO-TV, Colorado Springs, reported.

The Denver Post reported that the Big Meadows fire, which has burned 617 acres, and the Ox Cart fire, which has burned 1,152 acres, are both 95 percent contained.

The East Fork fire is 5 percent contained, the newspaper said.

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