Gas Wells Shut Down Near Colorado Wildfire

REDMESA, Colo. (AP) -- Calmer winds and air support have helped slow the growth of a 1,200-acre wildfire near Mesa Verde National Park.

Authorities on Monday shut down gas wells near the wildfire, which was 40 percent contained, said Larry Helmerick of the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center in Denver. About 240 firefighters battled the fire, which grew from 10 acres to 1,100 acres on Sunday.

The fire was burning on Ute Mountain and Southern Ute Indian Reservation land south of Redmesa and about 1 1/2 miles north of the New Mexico line.

Firefighters were getting help from a heavy air tanker, single-engine air tanker, two helicopters, four bulldozers and six fire engines. Two additional heavy air tankers were diverted to another fire, fire information officer Pam Wilson said.

The fire, which was burning in pinon and juniper, is believed to have been started by lightning.

``There was a smoke report about a week ago, and they flew it and couldn't find any fire,'' Helmerick said. ``So they're assuming it's something that just kind of cooked for a week and when the conditions got right, it just started.''

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