Colorado Grass Fire Contained

Firefighters contained a 786-acre blaze near a historic ranch and dinosaur tracks in the Comanche National Grasslands of southern Colorado Thursday.


Firefighters contained a 786-acre blaze near a historic ranch and dinosaur tracks in the Comanche National Grasslands of southern Colorado Thursday.

Rain helped crews fighting the fire near La Junta, which was started by lightning Monday, information officer Barb Timock said. Most of the firefighters had been sent home earlier Thursday.

A 7,200-acre fire on federal land west of Meeker was being allowed to burn in spots to clear dead vegetation and improve wildlife habitat. Sixty-seven firefighters have been assigned to the blaze, which started with a June 3 lightning strike, to ensure it stays within boundaries officials set for it.

Diann Ritschard of the Craig Interagency Fire Dispatch Center said crews were working to protect a power line in the area, including setting fires to deprive the blaze of fuel.

Eight fire engines, four bulldozers and two water trucks were assigned to the fire.

A number of Colorado counties have already instituted fire bans.

``It's extremely dry,'' Timock said. ``Lightning strikes are starting fires and we don't foresee any break in that weather pattern, so of course being extra careful with fire out in the forest is imperative.''