Fire prompts nearby residents to pack up

Posted at: 10/18/2012 6:21 PM
Updated at: 10/18/2012 6:37 PM
By: Liz Lastra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The smoke is thick near Jeff Dey's home. Dey and his wife, Melia, live near the Vallecito Reservoir just outside of Durango.

“Naturally we're concerned. So we're doing a little pre-evacuation at our home," he said.

As Dey and his wife pack up some of their items crews continue to fight the Vallecito fire.

Eighteen homes in the Lake Vista Estates area are under pre-evacuation orders. The fire is over 200 acres.

“We suspect it was from lightning," spokeperson Pam Wilson said. "There were a lot of lightning strikes, thousands of lightning strikes, that hit southwestern Colorado last weekend."

Wilson said a majority of this fire will be fought from the sky since a previous fire has made conditions on the ground dangerous for fire crews.

“It is burning within the old Missionary Ridge burn area so there's a lot of down and dead timber," she said.

Extra support also arrived on Thursday.

“We have two heavy air tankers and one type 1 helicopter and so they have been starting to do some retardant and water drops," said Wilson.

The planes are having to fly to Albuquerque to get the retardant since the Durango base was already closed for the season.

“We're in the process of reopening it so the planes can fill up with retardant," said Wilson. Dey said he’s happy more crews are fighting this fire.

“They're doing a great job and we're just thankful to have them here," Dey said.

To find out the latest information on the Vallecito fire visit