Morgan Creek Fire in North Routt now over 100 acres (with photos, video)

NORTH ROUTT — Fire crews responded to a wildfire Friday afternoon that prompted road closures and a pre-evacuation of homes and campgrounds along the Seedhouse Road corridor in North Routt County, a popular site for recreating.

Initial estimates placed the Morgan Creek Fire at 5 acres, but it quickly grew to over 100 acres and pushed east toward the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area by Friday evening. Fifty homes are located within the voluntary pre-evacuation area of the Eastern Seedhouse area, which includes Cowboy Way, Lindley Lane and Routt County Road 64A.

Morgan Creek Road, also known as Forest Service Road 442, located south of Seedhouse Road was evacuated due to its proximity to the fire. Routt County Roads 64, 64A and Forest Service Roads 400 and 441 were also closed in addition to small roads off C.R. 64 that serve homes in the area. Campers in the area, including at Seedhouse Campground, were asked to pack down their sites and be ready in case of an evacuation.

Aerial crews have used water drops from Hinman Lake to douse the fire and assist with its containment, which was 0% as of 9 p.m. Friday.

Just after 1 p.m. hikers at the historic fire lookout atop Hahns Peak reported they saw smoke visible from the Hinman Lake area south of Seedhouse.

Officials ultimately located the blaze about 2 miles east of the intersection of Forest Service Roads 400 and 440. The fire is thought to have been caused by lightning, which was witnessed in the area at the time, but an official cause remains under investigation.

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