Residents who were evacuated near Rifle for a wildfire, were allowed to return to their homes yesterday. The Ward Gulch Fire north of town has burned about 480 acres and forced the closure of the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery, which is managed by the state. The public is not allowed into Rifle Falls State Park. Helicopters have been dipping into the nearby Rifle Gap reservoir to fight the flames.
As of Sunday, no injuries are reported and no structures have been lost. The blaze is now 60 percent contained. About 300 firefighters were working on the fire yesterday, and will continue to do so today. The fire’s pricetag is about $1 million, most of which is due to air support. Fire officials hope to contain the fire completely by Wednesday.