The Pine Ridge Fire has now burned 13,9000 acres, but fire crews expect full containment within two weeks.
Sunday, fire crews saw hot and dry conditions with southwest winds gusting up to 25 mph. Officials say the winds kept the south flank of the fire very hot.
Using the Haines Index, which measures the stability and dryness of air over a fire, officials say there is a high potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity and growth.
With that said, containment jumped to 65% Monday and is holding. Fire crews expect full containment by July 9.
The Pine Ridge Fire is burning about 13 miles east of Grand Junction and five miles southwest of De Beque. It was ignited by lightning on June 27, 2012.
Current acreage estimates stand at 13,360 or 18 square miles. Approximately 420 firefighters and supervisors are fighting and managing the blaze. A Type 1 Incident Command Team took over management on Saturday.
Eight grounds crews, 38 engines, three water-tenders, six helicopters, four heavy air tankers, a fixed-wing support and a Skycrane have all been dispatched to the fire. Officials estimate it has cost $1,646,167 to fight the fire so far.
Saturday, firefighters conducted several burnout operations that helped strengthen fire lines ahead of Sunday's weather. In doing so, crews were able to more than double their containment from 10% to 25%.
The Colorado River remains a top priority in this fight, along with public and firefighter safety. Union Pacific is working with fire crews in bringing water to that area by rail and firefighters will continue to patrol that area into the night.
Firefighters are also continuing to focus on threatened oil and gas wells, cultural resources, endangered species and the Wild Horse range.
All mandatory evacuations were lifted by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, but some areas remain on a pre-evacuation notice. Officials are reminding those people to remain vigilant and ready to leave if fire behavior increases.
Mesa County residents can register for Reverse 911 Emergency Notifications at the city of Grand Junction's website. In Garfield County, you can register your land line or cell phone by visiting Garfield County's website. This will allow 911 operators to notify residents of emergencies or evacuation orders being reinstated.
I-70 is currently open but travelers should be aware that road closures could be implemented if fire activity increases. You can stay informed by checking the Colorado Department of Transportation's website.