More fire info!

From the Chieftain Newspaper:

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 12:00 am

Crews gain ground fighting Track Fire By ANTHONY A. MESTAS
anthonym@chieftain.com The Pueblo Chieftain

RATON, N.M. — The Track Fire has turned pristine mountainsides in Colorado and New Mexico into swaths of blackened timber and ash, but Wednesday fire crews made progress in extinguishing the blaze as it pushed through hills with the help of stiff winds and dry conditions.
Some relief from the fire came late Wednesday night when fire officials scheduled the reopening of Interstate 25 at 4 a.m. today.
Authorities on Wednesday evening said the fire had burned about 25,620 acres of steep and rugged terrain in Colorado and New Mexico. About 6,558 acres have burned in Colorado southeast of Trinidad.
Though the massive fire burning north of town was officially 20 percent contained, the blaze still gave 698 firefighters working the front lines a good fight. Winds are forecasted to pick up today.
A health advisory was issued in both states for poor air quality from the fire's billowing smoke.
Firefighters battled 20 to 25 mph gusts of wind in the afternoon.
Fire officials estimate that the blaze may not be fully contained until June 27.
Diane Souder, an information officer, said that at least 14 structures have been damaged or destroyed in the fire, including eight New Mexico residences and six other buildings including one in Colorado.
Souder said the potential growth of the fire is extreme because of the difficult terrain.
"But if we have favorable weather conditions and we get enough resources with our continuing strategy of maintaining a perimeter, we hope to be successful with this fire," Souder said.
I-25's reopening signals dramatic progress in the firefighting.
Northbound and southbound lanes of I-25 were closed after the smoke and flames forced officials from both states to shut down the highway Sunday at 1:32 p.m.
The closure has made a mess for motorists who were forced to travel alternate detour routes that added about two hours to their trips.
The decision to reopen the road came after a day of New Mexico crews monitoring hot spots and shifting conditions.....
....Meanwhile on another front, crews worked to establish anchor points to keep the fire from spreading south as well as keeping the fire north of the town's water plant.
Crews on the north end of the fire, primarily in Colorado, conducted operations with helicopter support to establish fire lines.
"I just ask that everybody continue to pray for us and we hope that we can come out of this unscathed," Segotta said
"So far we have not had any casualties and we haven't lost too many structures. Relatively speaking, we have done all right."

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