Dry Lake fire continues to burn in Archuleta County, minimal growth

The lightning-sparked Dry Lake fire burning in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado reached 1,372 acres in size on Sunday, with 47% of the perimeter contained.

According to a Sunday news release from U.S. Forest Service officials, the fire started Aug. 1 on national forest land northeast of Bayfield, with smoke visible from U.S. 160.

Over the past week, fire teams focused on pre-burning control lines and excess fuel for the fire, officials said.

In the Sunday news release, fire officials said they don’t expect the fire to grow further, but continued burning of interior vegetation will likely continue.

Monday, crews focused on wetting and maintaining the firelines, according to a tweet from the national forest.

According to the news release, the fire holds environmental benefits and gave fire managers the opportunity to address the long-term risk of wildfires in the area by reducing hazardous fuels, encouraging native plant growth, increasing species diversity in the understory, and restoring ecological balance.

Smoke will continue to be visible to travelers along U.S. 160 between Bayfield and Pagosa Springs, and to some residents in Ignacio and Archuleta County throughout the coming week, the release stated.

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