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Firefighters battle Burns Canyon blaze

A fire burning in the area of Burns Canyon, about 12 miles south of Pagosa Springs near County Road 500 (Trujillo Road), had scorched 170 acres as of Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, the Burns Fire was deemed to be 50 percent contained.

The fire was reported late Sunday afternoon and was said to be burning on 30 acres of land, according to an update posted to Archuleta County’s emergency management blog. Smoke was visible from Pagosa Springs.

The fire, the origin of which is still unknown, began on private land and moved onto Southern Ute Indian land, said Ann Bond, public affairs specialist for the San Juan National Forest and Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch.

The fire is burning in steep, rugged terrain, Bond noted.

By Sunday night, at about 8:30 p.m., the fire was estimated at 120 acres and additional resources had been called in, including three ground crews (including a hot shot crew from Wyoming), two single engine air tankers and one heavy air tanker.

Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Pagosa Fire Protection District and Archuleta County were at the scene.

That evening, a dozer from Archuleta County cut a fire line and a burn operation was conducted off that line.

As of Monday at 1 p.m., the fire had reportedly grown to 170 acres, where it has held since, and a dozer line had been cut around 50 percent of the fire, according to the blog.

Tuesday morning, Bond reported that the three, 20-person crews are slated to be on the fire through Friday, at which time the situation will be reanalyzed. The crews are being supported by an engine.

Air support was called off the fire Tuesday, with retardant lines laid Monday holding, Bond reported Tuesday.

No structures are threatened by the fire.

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