Weber Fire officials optimistic about gaining control

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After more than three long, intense days, the zero has come off the board.

At the 7:30 p.m. Monday briefing at Mancos High School, officials reported that the Weber Fire is now 10 percent contained.

The fast-moving Weber Fire started around 4:20 p.m. Friday about three miles south of Mancos and now stands at an estimated 8,300 acres as of Monday night.

This was the first full day of firefighting with the Type II federal team in charge. The total number of personnel fighting the blaze is now at 240.

Ed Waggoner, operations section chief for the Type II team, said he anticipates the containment percentage number to be higher by today.

John Lowe, incident commander, said that Monday's firefighting efforts were very productive.

“We got some good weather today but things could go wrong, we need to put this to bed as soon as possible,” he said.

The plan for the next three days is to attack the fire at day and night, Waggoner said.

During the day, fire line crews will do preparation work, then at night, back burns will be conducted when the fire is not as active.

Waggoner said the goal is to have the fire contained within six days if weather cooperates.

Fire crews will be attacking and working on three separate sections of the fire.

Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell was complimentary of fire crews and other officials who helped fight the blaze.

“Today was a good day. I'm amazed at the work these people have done for our community,” he said.

According to the news release, evacuation advisories remain in place for Echo Basin, County Road L, County Road 44, and the south side of Mancos. Road closures are in place to keep the area clear for incoming firefighting resources within the fire perimeter; they include County Road G at County Road 41, County Road J at County Road 41, County Road 46 at Highway 160.