Fire danger near Bickleton causes evacuation order

Dry and windy weather is feeding flames south of Bickleton. Authorities ordered level 3 evacuations at the Pine Creek Drainage area.

Witnesses reported a broken wind turbine started the fire Saturday.

Firefighters said the Juniper Fire grew quickly in the Pine Creek Drainage area, south of Bickleton. As of Sunday night, 242 acres had burned. Containment was recorded at 40 percent.

In a release, incident commander Leonard Johnson said there are about 201 people working the fire. Crews are trying to build a complete containment line around the fire. Winds gusting up to 28 mph challenged them through the weekend, according to Johnson.

Johnson said the crews prevented the fire from moving into Bickleton. Sunday night they will have firefighter crews and equipment on the line to monitor and patrol the fire.

Johnson said his goal is to have the fire contained enough to be ready for an expected cold front with increased wind speeds.

A press release detailed that the company that owns the turbine that may have started the fire, Avan Grid, are aware of the what’s happening and “appreciate the work of the local fire district and responding firefighters for the work they have done.”