100 percent containment expected at Mill Creek Fire
July 16, 2017
Firefighters expected to have the Mill Creek Fire burning northeast of Hayden fully contained by Sunday night.
The wildland blaze, which started when a bulldozer caught fire July 1, has burned 482 acres on mostly private land.
"We fully anticipate that, by the time crews are done there today, it will be 100-percent contained," Routt County Emergency Management Director David "Mo" DeMorat said Sunday.
Fire activity has been minimal, with some single-tree torching.
Full containment means there is fire line and natural barriers around the entire fire.
Firefighters will continue to monitor those lines.
They fire will not be deemed out until no smoke has been observed for a minimum of 48 hours.
As of last week, fighting the fire had cost $1.2 million.
The state is expected to cover most of that cost.
Routt County is currently managing the fire.
The West Routt Fire Protection District is expected to take control in the coming days.
On the other hand, it is almost as if Mother Nature wants the area around the fire to burn.
On Saturday, smoke was reported on the northwest side of Pilot Knob on privately-owned land.
It is suspected lightning caused a single tree to catch fire.
DeMorat said the fire was in a very remote area that was practically inaccessible to vehicles and ground crews.
He added that crews would have been forced to be brought to the location by helicopter, and he did not think it was worth the risk, because there was little risk of the fire spreading.
Instead, a helicopter was used to make about 10 water drops.
"We'll continue to monitor it," DeMorat said.