Fire growing; burns 3,800 acres
Steamboat Springs — A fire in the Routt National Forest near the Wyoming border grew to 3,800 acres Tuesday.
The Beaver Creek Fire in Jackson County, about 20 miles northwest of Walden, was reported Sunday. The cause is so far unknown, but law enforcement has located a vehicle of interest.
Plumes of smoke could be seen in North Routt County, where the fire is burning on the other side of the Continental Divide outside the wilderness area.
“It’s billowing pretty good,” North Routt Fire Protection District Chief Mike Swinsick said Tuesday.
Swinsick said concerned residents reported the smoke Sunday. North Routt firefighters determined the fire was outside the district and on the other side of the Continental Divide.
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said the fire was moving to the east and northeast. The owners of 30 cabins and other structures in the area were told to prepare for possible evacuation.
“They’re ready to go, if needed,” Voos said.
The fire was expected to continue to grow.
The fire is situated in heavy timber, with beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees. Due to the danger, firefighters are not actively engaging the fire, Voos said.
Fire lines are being built with bulldozers, and water is being dropped from the air. A firefighting helicopter refueled Tuesday at Steamboat Springs Airport. Fifty people are working the fire.
Closures in the area due to the fire include Big Creek Lakes Campground and Beaver Creek and Seven Lakes trailheads, as well as Forest Roads 80 (Hog Park Road), 600, 681, and 689.
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YAMPA — After two days of increasing activity, the Muddy Slide Fire burning in South Routt County has reached 4,000 acres, according to fire officials.