The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is lifting some evacuations caused by the 12,000 acre Pine Ridge Fire burning near De Beque.
Friday night at 9:30 pm, Sheriff Stan Hilkey started allowing some of the displaced families back into their homes. Everyone with addresses on I-70 Frontage Road, S 1/2 Road, U Road, T Road and those address along 45.5 Road from I-70 to T Road have been allowed to return.
A fire warning is still in effect for this area and these residents, should they choose to return home, should remain on pre-evacuation alert.
Mandatory evacuation orders are still in place for areas east of 45.5 Road from T Road south to Highway 65. This includes those residents on or near Horse Canyon Road or "Turkey Tracks." The danger in these areas remains very high.
The Pine Ridge Fire remains estimated at over 12,000 acres and 10% contained.
Firefighters are working to keep the flames west of I-70 and out of developed areas. They also are planning to continue burn-out lines south of the town of De Beque in an effort to keep the flames away.
The fire didn't grow with as much ferocity as it did on Thursday. A Type 1 Incident Management Team is assuming command of the fire at 6:00 am Saturday.
According to Skye Sieber with Upper Colorado River Fire Management, I-70 is currently open in the area, but intermittent closures are expected Friday due to smoke and firefighting efforts.
Traffic has been diverted around I-70 between mile markers 62 and 49, but this detour could also be closed if the fire crosses I-70 or if the smoke becomes an issue, Sieber said.
Two helicopters are assisting firefighters and they have four air tankers available as well.
Firefighters worked throughout the night Thursday burning out a fire-line on the northeast side of the fire to help protect the town of De Beque. They continue to secure that line Friday, according to Sieber.
The evacuation on the southeast side of De Beque is still in place; south of U Road, west of 45.5 Road and east of I-70.
KJCT had some viewers asking if the oil wells in De Beque were going to be impacted by the fire. Sieber said there are about 35 oil and gas well in the affected area, but operators have shut-in the wells, meaning they're not producing oil and gas.
Continue to follow KJCT News 8 on air, online and through Facebook and Twitter as we continue to track the progress of the Pine Ridge Fire.
To sign up for emergency alerts, visit http://www.gjcity.org.
For the latest information on the Pine Ridge Fire, and all other Colorado wildfires, visit http://www.inciweb.org or call (970) 456-3623.