Closing in on 5K acres, Middle Fork Fire moves west |

Closing in on 5K acres, Middle Fork Fire moves west

Commuters headed into Steamboat Springs from the west side of town were greeted by a hazy layer of smoke that limited the view of many of the mountain peaks surrounding the valley. The smoke is coming from the Middle Fork Fire and wildfires burning along the nation's West Coast.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County’s sole wildfire, the Middle Fork Fire in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, is approaching 5,000 acres and was producing noticeable smoke Wednesday morning.

Hazy conditions in Steamboat Springs and around the county are due to the ongoing blaze, along with the wildfires burning along the nation’s West Coast. As warm and sunny weather returns, smoke will continue to be noticeable in the mid- to late afternoon, according to fire officials.

Initially spreading to the east and north, the Middle Fork Fire has begun to slowly back downslope and upwind to the west. A major source of the fire’s fuel is the dead and fallen timber throughout the area.

Middle Fork Fire viewed from South Valley at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Submitted by Kathy Flood

Firefighters on the scene continue to monitor the situation while clearing fallen trees in the fire’s path and along the roads used by fire crews and the public.

Tree torching continued Tuesday along the fire’s perimeter as it reached 4,807 total acres.

The Type-3 Incident Management Team expects the fire to burn until a persistent seasonal change of weather arrives.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.