Lee Rickard

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Fire Management Officer  - Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Center

Fire Management Officer  - Interagency Fire Center

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Lee Rickard of the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Center, who was assisting, said the area is being mapped and the fire seems to be 100 percent contained but he could not verify that figure.The RFPD, Grand Valley Fire Protection District, along with Burning Mountains Fire Protection District and the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Center went to work on the fire quickly, and managed to get a head start on containing the blaze, Rickard said.Grand Valley Fire Protection District was dispatched to the area between county roads 320 and 309 near Rulison, just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, where a wildfire was burning 20 feet from a structure.Heavy winds and dry fuels on the steep hillsides complicated the initial attack of the fire.Because the fire was moving rapidly, crews started backburns to help slow it Tuesday evening, according to reports.Several structures and gas wells were threatened but no damage was sustained."We hit it hard last night," Rickard said."I would say that was the key." Rickard credited the Idaho City Hot Shots Fire crews, who were helping in the final stages of the New Castle fire on Tuesday, for assisting with getting control of the blaze.

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Lee Rickard with the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Center, who was assisting, said the area is being mapped and the fire seems to be 100 percent contained but he could not verify that figure.The RFPD, Grand Valley Fire Protection District, along with Burning Mountain Fire Protection District and the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Center jumped on the fire quickly, and managed to get a head start on containing the blaze according to Rickard.Grand Valley Fire Protection District was dispatched to the area between county roads 320 and 309, just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, where a wildfire was burning 20 feet from a structure near Rulison.Heavy winds and dry fuels on the steep hillsides complicated initial attack of the fire.Due to the fast moving fire, crews started back burns to help slow the fire Tuesday evening, according to reports.Several structures and gas wells were threatened but no damages was sustained."We hit it hard last night," Rickard said."I would say that was the key." Rickard credited the Idaho City Hot Shots Fire crews, that were helping in the final stages of the New Castle Fire on Tuesday, for assisting with getting hold of the blaze.

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The fire, which started Thursday in the area of the JQS Trail, had reached 15 acres in size by mid-day Friday, said Lee Rickard, fire management officer for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Center in Rifle.About 50 personnel were fighting the fire Friday, with helicopter and airplane support.Also Friday, crews responded to a second fire that burned in two trees about a mile northwest of the first one, Rickard said.Officials believe both fires were started during a lightning storm that hit the area on Wednesday.Sometimes a lightning-sparked fire will smolder for days before flaring up, Rickard said."It just has to, what we call, duff around a little bit until it finds something to burn in and finally start showing some smoke, gets a little wind on it and exposure to heat," he said.Meanwhile, Rickard said a report of a smoke sighting east of Harvey Gap Reservoir and north of the Grand Hogback Thursday turned out to be a false alarm.

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