Updated at 7:04 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.
The west and eastbound lanes of I-70 near Wolcott reopened late Thursday evening. CDOT said U.S. 6 was expected to remain closed overnight Thursday and early Friday morning between Mile Points 150 and 157 due to damaged power poles resulting from a wildfire caused by a vehicle crash. CDOT and fire and energy crews plan to assess the damage and reopen U.S. 6 later Friday morning.
Firefighters stopped the growth of the Eagle River fire late Thursday. It burned 15 acres. Crews will continue to reinforce the perimeter of the fire and mop up the interior, according to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit.
Our original reporting continues below.
Parts of Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 6 west of Vail were shut down in both directions Thursday afternoon due to a wildfire sparked by a vehicle crash.
The Colorado Department of Transportation said the closure is expected to last several hours. Currently, only westbound I-70 has reopened. Firefighting operations are expected to last overnight.
“The wildfire is causing heavy smoke on the interstate and the fire may expand quickly due to weather conditions,” CDOT officials stated.
The Eagle River fire was originally started by a vehicle crash on U.S. 6. Firefighters are on the scene and air firefighting resources are expected as well.
A separate fire near I-70 near Fruita that started within 30 minutes of the Eagle River fire is currently at about 60 acres, according to the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit. The McDonald Creek fire was also caused by humans, officials said.
Officials recommend that motorists coming from metro Denver or I-25 travel west on I-70 to Silverthorne, then turn north onto CO 9 or CO 131. Motorists traveling east from Utah or Grand Junction can reach Denver by traveling east on I-70 and south onto CO 9 or CO 131.
Officials said the northern alternate route will add about two and half hours of additional travel time to reach your destination, compared to traveling on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon and Eagle County.
Motorists can refer to www.cotrip.org for the latest road conditions.
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