Beaver Creek fire northwest of Walden now 5,400 acres
Walden — A wildfire that brought hazy skies to Steamboat early last week continues to burn about 15 miles northwest of Walden, just below the Wyoming state line.
Firefighters worked overnight Saturday to continue mopping up smoldering vegetation near structures and prepare nearby structures in case the fire spreads further.
The fire grew slightly Friday, to about 5,480 acres, and remained the same size as of early Sunday.
Nearly 500 firefighters are now battling the blaze, which started June 18.
Incident commander Jay Esperance told firefighters Sunday to do what they could to fight the fire while keeping in mind the risks of their job, according to a Sunday morning media update from several agencies, including the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team, the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado’s Bureau of Land Management, the state of Colorado and Jackson County.
“Do what you can do, share your knowledge of what you are doing and the risk associated with fighting wildland fires,” Esperance said. “Don’t become a part of the 18.6 wildland firefighters killed annually, on average, actively fighting fire.”
About 40 residences or cabins remain at risk from the fire, which is burning in Routt National Forest, as well as on BLM and private lands.
To prepare at-risk structures, crews work to reduce or remove combustible fuel and set sprinklers around structures. Sprinkler systems are connected to a pump and water source and activated if the fire moves closer to increase humidity, making fuels less receptive to fire.
Crews also create defensible space around homes by using burn out procedures, removing fuel near structures.
The cause of the Beaver Creek Fire remains under investigation. Anyone with information on suspicious activity related to the start of the fire last weekend should contact U.S. Forest Service Officer Hannah Nadeau, at 307-343-2335.
Updates on the fire are being posted at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4797 and on Twitter by @FS_MBRTB.
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