Air tankers and planes were dropping retardant and water Sunday on a 197-acre wildfire in the Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado.
The fire started Saturday in Conejos County about 18 miles west of Antonito and was initially reported as 17 acres. Rio Grande National Forest spokesman Gregg Goodland said the Menkhaven fire grew during the day, but didn’t appear to expand significantly overnight.
Evacuations were ordered for homes in the Menkhaven subdivision north of Colorado 17, which was shut down about 9 miles south of Antonito to Cumbres Pass. It was unclear how many homes were affected.
No orders were issued for the communities of Horca and Fox Creek, which are along the highway.
Goodland said five air tankers and two single-engine planes “were hitting it pretty hard” Saturday and were dropping more water and retardent on the flames Sunday. The weather was cool and calm, but Goodland said the winds were expected to pick up during the day.
A red-flag warning was in effect Sunday, which means the fire danger is high. Goodland said more resources were ordered for the fire.
The cause of the fire is unknown.