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Cinder Pit Fire larger than initial estimates

Published: Friday, July 26 2013 4:50 p.m. MDT

VEYO, Washington County — An aerial survey of a fire burning in Washington County revealed Friday that the blaze is about four times larger than initial estimates indicated.

The Cinder Pit Fire, burning between Veyo and Brookside, had reached 439 acres Friday afternoon and was threatening four homes and a power line, the Bureau of Land Management reported. First reports indicated the fire was about 120 acres.

The fire was 40 percent contained as of 4 p.m. Friday.

The four homes were not evacuated Friday and fire crews didn't anticipate any problems for them; they chose to classify the structures as threatened and put protections in place until the blaze is contained, BLM spokeswoman Vicki Tyler said Friday.

"The fire continues to burn actively on the south flank; however, there has been no significant growth in the perimeter," Tyler said. "Thunderstorms and potential winds with downdrafts are possible later today."

No closures or evacuations were in effect heading into the weekend, though travelers along nearby Highway 18 were urged to use caution as they passed the area, paying special attention to fire crews working alongside the road, according to the BLM.

Lightning is suspected in starting the blaze, and the fire is fueled mostly by pinyon and juniper brush.

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