Firefighters in northwestern Colorado battle new Elk Springs Fire; Alkali near containment


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CRAIG, Colorado — Firefighters are working to protect ranches and oil and gas facilities from the latest wildfire burning in northwestern Colorado.

The 300-acre Elk Springs Fire started Saturday in windy conditions near a small ranching community of the same name. It's burning just south of U.S. Highway 40 in grass, sage, pinion and juniper, primary sage grouse habitat.

The area is susceptible to fires because of drought and lightning from thunderstorms has ignited many fires over previous days. However, fire spokeswoman Susan Valente says cloud cover and higher humidity were helping crews Sunday.

Rain is possible in the area Monday but the storms could also bring more wind and lightning.

The new fire comes as crews work to finish containing the 32-square-mile Alkali Fire near Maybell.

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