Fire danger in Routt County remains moderate | SteamboatToday.com
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Fire danger in Routt County remains moderate

By the numbers

Recent significant wildfires in Northwest Colorado

■ Alkali fire

Date: Aug. 18 to 19

Location: Moffat County, 10 miles north of Maybell

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 7,917

■ East Fork fire

Date: July 22 to 25

Location: Moffat County, south of Elk Springs

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 675

■ Logging fire

Date: July 20 to 24

Location: Moffat County, 10 miles southeast of Greystone

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 1,144

■ Reed fire

Date: July 20 to 24

Location: Moffat County, 4 miles northeast of Greystone

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 475

Source: Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit

By the numbers

Recent significant wildfires in Northwest Colorado

■ Alkali fire

Date: Aug. 18 to 19



Location: Moffat County, 10 miles north of Maybell

Cause: Lightning



Acres burned: 7,917

■ East Fork fire

Date: July 22 to 25

Location: Moffat County, south of Elk Springs

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 675

■ Logging fire

Date: July 20 to 24

Location: Moffat County, 10 miles southeast of Greystone

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 1,144

■ Reed fire

Date: July 20 to 24

Location: Moffat County, 4 miles northeast of Greystone

Cause: Lightning

Acres burned: 475

Source: Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit

— As a wildfire continues to burn in Fourmile Canyon near Boulder, the fire danger in Routt County remains moderate. Recent increases in precipitation in the county, as well as cooler temperatures, have contributed to the lower fire danger.

“We’re still in good shape,” Steamboat Springs Fire Chief Ron Lindroth said. “Short of a hot and dry Indian summer, I expect us to get through the rest of the season without increasing our fire danger from moderate.”

Lindroth said this year’s fire season, which is expected to end in six weeks, after more moisture and snowfall begins to arrive in the region, has been relatively quiet for the county. However, he said drought patterns in upcoming seasons could make fires like the one in Fourmile Canyon, which has destroyed more than 100 homes and consumed thousands of acres, possible in the area.

“We’ve dodged the possibilities of significant fires this season,” he said. “But if we ever drop into an extended drought situation, we can have hot, dry winds and could experience locally what Boulder has experienced.”

A wildfire tender, a local member of the Colorado State Forest Service and a firefighter from the West Routt Fire Protection District have been dispatched to help fight the Fourmile fire, but Lindroth said no firefighters from Steamboat have been sent to Boulder.

“At this point in time, it seems the fire has enough resources on it,” Lind­roth said. “If they have another fire break out or if goes out of control, we will likely send more resources.”

Here in the county, local fire mitigation efforts continue as beetle-killed trees are removed. Lind­roth said 300 acres of beetle-killed trees have been locally removed through a grant this year, further reducing potential fire dangers.

Northwest Colorado Fire Man­­age­­ment Unit spokeswoman Lynn Barclay said that although the fire danger in the county is moderate, dangers remain.

She said a red flag warning issued for Routt County on Thursday was a reminder of ongoing fire dangers.

“On days like today with high winds and low relative humidity, we want people to be aware and not use any fire outdoors,” Barclay said Thursday.

Routt County Emergency Man­­­age­­ment Director Bob Struble said that no structures in the county have been destroyed by wildfires this season and that fire activity has been less active than normal.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said.

“We’ve had two lightning causes of fire, both single-tree incidents, and we’ve had other fire departments going out to controlled burns that have gotten out of control.”

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit said regional fire activity has been average so far this year.

The agency said one of the most significant wildfires in the region this year was the Alkali fire, which was caused by lightning strike Aug. 18 and burned 7,917 acres.


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