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Contact: Sonya Popelka, (435) 781-7701
Dinosaur, Colorado - Fire crews from Dinosaur National Monument and several other agencies are responding to a fire located north of the Yampa Bench Road, approximately two miles wet of Haystack Rock. This fire, called the Bench Fire, was spotted by the lookout in the Round Top Fire Tower after a storm moved over the eastern portion of the monument on Friday, July 22. Several other fires were ignited just east of the monument from this same storm. As of Saturday evening, July 23, the Bench Fire was between 400-500 acres.
Crews are working to suppress this fire through minimum impact suppression tactics (MIST). Conditions are predicted to be hot, windy and dry for the next several days. This will hinder suppression actions and require additional resources, including several more 20-person hand crews. Aircraft will be using water drops to assist crews working on the ground.
A temporary road closure has been put in place for through traffic on the Yampa Bench Road between Thanksgiving Gorge on the east and the Castle Park Overlook on the west. This closure will most likely be in effect for the next week as fire suppression efforts continue.