Fire northwest of Craig expected to be contained Sunday evening |

Fire northwest of Craig expected to be contained Sunday evening

Flames engulf brush along the side of Moffat County Road 7.
Andy Bockleman/Craig Press

CRAIG — The Great Divide Fire, which began northwest of Craig Friday near Moffat County Road 7 and MCR 5, about 32 miles north of Craig near Great Divide, has been seen “significant containment,” according to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, July 1, the Sheriff’s Office was reporting that weather, fire conditions and firefighting efforts on Saturday allowed for significant containment progress, and the fire was anticipated to be placed in a 100-percent containment status by the end of the day Sunday.

Closures of Moffat County roads 7 and 5 at the intersection of Moffat County Road 17 have been lifted, though Moffat County Road 17 remains closed between the intersections of MCR 7 and 17 and MCR 5 and 17.

At its height, the fire was burning in more than 5,000 acres.

At 11:30 a.m., Sunday, Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume said crews had achieved 20-percent containment of the blaze, which had burned 5,136 acres at the time of the report.

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No injuries have been reported as a result of the Divide Fire, and no other fires were burning in the county as of Sunday.

The community fireworks show scheduled for July 4 is expected to go forward. The show is staged in an area that is defensible against fire when there are enough resources to put out any spot fires. If, however, those resources are deployed elsewhere, the show might be canceled, Hume said in a Craig Press story about Stage 1 fire restrictions.

The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the Divide Fire. An acreage measurement by Colorado’s Multi-Mission Aircraft put the total size of the fire at 5,136 acres as of Saturday afternoon; it was originally estimated at 7,000 acres.

Agencies assisting with the fire including the sheriff’s office, Craig Fire/Rescue, Memorial Regional Health and Yampa Valley Electric Association. Bureau of Land Management personnel and Moffat County Road & Bridge workers have also been part of the effort.

A Great Divide residence was destroyed, though no additional resources are considered threatened.

Hume said crews didn’t deal with difficult conditions on the second day of work — Saturday — though he cautioned that conditions can quickly change when dealing with wildfires.

Moffat County was placed under Stage 1 fire restrictions Friday due to hot, dry conditions. While winds contributed to the growth of the Divide Fire, firefighters are still investigating the cause.

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