Crews have fully contained one of two small wildfires that sprung up Wednesday afternoon in the mountainous area between Estes Park and Loveland and are about three-quarters of the way toward containing the second blaze, officials said Thursday evening.
At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office tweeted that crews reached full containment on the 1.5-acre Pole Hill Fire burning in the heavily forested area near Pinewood Reservoir.
That fire was spotted Wednesday afternoon by a Type 3 helicopter that had been called to the area to dump water on another blaze, the nearby Hell's Canyon Fire.
U.S. Forest Service officials said that, as of Thursday evening, the Hell's Canyon Fire was burning at just under four acres -- about the same area it was burning late Wednesday evening -- and that firefighters had reached about 75 percent containment.
"Crews are making good progress," said Reghan Cloudman, spokeswoman for the Forest Service's Canyon Lakes Ranger District. "There was activity within the interior of the fire, but no real growth. Folks might have seen smoke up there potentially, but it wasn't because of any external growth."
Thirty-two firefighters helped fight the Hell's Canyon Fire on Thursday, Cloudman said, including a Type 1 team with experience battling wildfires in difficult terrain.
A single-engine air tanker made several drops on the Hell's Canyon Fire on Wednesday, but Cloudman said the only air support provided Thursday came from a Type 3 helicopter.
Emergency dispatchers began receiving calls of smoke coming from the Pinewood Reservoir area at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after a lightning strike nearby, and the Hell's Canyon Fire was spotted shortly thereafter.
Both fires are burning on very steep terrain and are not near any structures, officials said.
It is believed that lightning sparked both.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or email@example.com.