UPPER FRUITLAND — A fire Saturday afternoon burned a couple of acres near the Upper Fruitland Chapter House.
The blaze started at about 1:30 p.m. and made its way through the thick brush near the San Juan River, said San Juan County Fire Department District 1 Fire Chief Donovan Mack.
As the fire burned, it shot flames high into the air, and dark smoke was visible from Kirtland.
Mack said no structures were threatened.
"Once we got positioned, things went out pretty fast," he said.
The cause is still unknown. Mack said it's possible that someone was burning weeds and that blaze burned out of control.
Shortly after 4 p.m., firefighters extinguished the fire and began to leave the scene.
While the fire was put out quickly, Mack said the situation could have been different due to the high winds and dry conditions.
In dry conditions, if the wind changes, "it can go so fast it's almost as if someone added gasoline," Mack said.
Mack said the river bottom in the area has been a fire concern for a while. Dense weeds grown in certain spots.
If the brush in the river bottom had burned without burning the trees or threatening structures, it would have decreased the fire risk later on, Mack said. While the fire Saturday did not completely clear out the brush and weeds, Mack said it will help decrease the fire danger in that area in the future.
He said development in the area has cleared some of the other fire hazards.
"As people develop, that's what's going to clean this up," Mack said.