FIRE UPDATE: Today’s strong winds fuel Silver Creek Fire |

FIRE UPDATE: Today’s strong winds fuel Silver Creek Fire

A few shots of the Silver Creek Fire from up on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Dan Tullos

3:27 p.m. update: Before the flare up, cost estimates for the fire were $20 million.

“It will be significantly more than that,” Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said.

Plans being developed to close U.S. Highway 40.

“They feel like they’re close enough that they need to have a good plan in place,” Voos said.

Hunters still being evacuated. Some are likely deep in the woods. Their campsites might be burned up when they return.

2:43 p.m. update: The fire has grown to 6,870 acres as of noon. Additional growth is occurring to the north and northeast. There is a hot spot on the southeast portion of the fire near Latigo Ranch, which is a priority for suppression. In addition to Forest Service land, it is now burning on Milk Creek State Trust land.

2:14 p.m. update: A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for residents in the Lake Agnes, Rabbit Ears Village and Bear Mountain Ranch areas northeast of the Silver Creek Fire.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Silver Creek Fire southeast of Steamboat Springs grew an estimated 1,000 acres when it flared up Wednesday.

The fire primarily grew on the northeast corner in the Buffalo Park area on the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass near Forest Road 100.

About 6,000 total acres have burned.

The fire is expected to be active again today with strong winds, warm weather and low humidity.

No structures are immediately threatened. The nearest homes are along U.S. Highway 40 to the east and the Lake Agnes area to the north. Those areas are about three miles away.

Several single-engine air tankers were used Wednesday to protect hunter camps that had not yet been evacuated.

Forest Service officials are meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss whether to put more closures in place.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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