May 28, 2011 5:59 PM by James H Egbert

Wildfire from lightning strike spreads from New Mexico into Colorado

As News First 5 reported late Friday night a fire that had started in New Mexico has spread into Colorado. The fire began late Thursday evening when lightning from a passing thunderstorm sparked dry fuel in a rugged canyon area just west of Sugarite Canyon State Park in northern New Mexico.

Residents in the Trinidad area and those driving through could see smoke in the mountains east of Trinidad and began sending in photos. The Las Animas County Sheriff , James Casias has been working with the Colorado State Forest Service and tells us that the fire is burning in remote canyons which are sparsely populated. No structures had been reported threatened so far.

Dan Ware the Fire Information Officer for the New Mexico Forestry Service tells News First 5 that the fire has burned approximately 100 acres in New Mexico which is now 100% contained as of 3:00pm Saturday. Ware also reported that the estimated size of the fire in Colorado is approximately 500 acres and growing.

Currently winds are reported to be out of the south to southwest and gusting up to 23 kmph. Conditions are dry and the types of fuels burning in the difficult terrain can make fighting this fire very difficult.

Air resources have been in use to try and contain the growth of the Bear Fire now that it has burned into Colorado. More than 100 firefighters have been working this fire since late Friday.



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