Crews snuff out wildfire north of Hayden
Nonthreatening nature of the wildfire a testament to the moisture Routt County has been getting
Sometime in the late afternoon on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, amid dozens of lightning strikes in the area, a small wildfire broke out north of Hayden along Routt County Road 76.
Luckily, it was still sprinkling and the area was relatively wet. Firefighters from the West Routt Fire Protection District responded to the call at 4:56 p.m., and by the time they arrived, the fire was only about ten square feet according to Brad Parrott the assistant fire chief at West Routt Fire.
“If it was dry, it definitely could have grown quickly,” said Parrot.
The site of the fire was mostly grass and sagebrush, and Parrot describes the fire as only one or two feet high. His crew was likely at the site for less than an hour, he said.
The fire crew used hand tools to dig a small handline, and Parrot said the closest they could get their truck to the fire was about 300 yards away so they walked to the fire with bladder bags of water strapped to their backs.
“We joke about Ghostbusters when we’re using those all the time,” Parrot said.
The plume from the fire was barely visible from afar, Parrot said, who also remarked at how vigilant the local community has been over the past few years when it comes to reporting wildfires.
“I think over the last several years, we’ve noticed the community has definitely been a little on-edge watching for smoke,” he said.
This time last summer was a different story. Routt County went into Stage 2 fire restrictions on June 25, as the Muddy Slide Fire near Yampa had been burning for five days up to that point. Those Stage 2 restrictions remained in place until August 25, 2021 when they were downgraded to Stage 1.
According to the National Weather Service, seasonal monsoon moisture from the southwest has raised humidity levels and brought daily showers and thunderstorms to Northwest Colorado. In Steamboat Springs, the chance of showers and thunderstorms are present every day until the middle of next week.
Fire danger levels through the Bureau of Land Management are moderate in the Hayden and Steamboat Springs areas, while Moffat County is under high fire danger. There are currently no fire restrictions in Routt County or any of the six adjoining counties.
There is only one red flag warning for wildfires in the entire country, and that is in northwest Alaska.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
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