Over 40 homes have been evacuated in Mineral County due to the Sunrise Fire burning just a few miles from Superior.

Fire Information Officer Megan Nimitz said the fire has been bumped up to one of the top priority fires in the nation.

"We had some better mapping of the fire last night," said Nimitz. "It's about at 3,700 acres, or just under six square miles. The challenge that firefighters are looking at is that the terrain is very steep, the temperatures are very hot, and the type of fuel it's burning through is sub-alpine fir and lodgepole pine, so it's pretty dense thick fuel. We have the potential for more thunderstorms so firefighter are being urged to keep their heads up because that can bring erratic winds to the fire."

"As of last night (Wednesday) the Stage Three evacuations remain in place," Nimitz said. "We also have Stage Two evacuation notices in a couple more areas. The folks in Stage Three are in the Quartz Glass and Sunrise Creek, and the folks in Stage Two which means they could be evacuated at any time are in Quartz Creek. We also put some folks in Stage One, and that is the Rivulet area."

Nimitz said no one is being allowed back into the areas designated as Stage Three.

"The fire has come very close to one home in particular," she said. "It has been spotting about a quarter of a mile away from the home. Fire officials are not letting anyone back into the the evacuated areas until they are absolutely sure it is safe to do so. The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Superior High School, and that's where many people are staying."

Nimitz said no firefighters have been injured while fighting the fire, and the estimated cost to fight the blaze now stands at just over $4 million.

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