Muddy Slide Fire sees minimal activity Friday

The Muddy Slide Fire, burning in South Routt County, saw minimal activity Friday due to rain and cold fronts across the Yampa Valley, according to Beau Kidd, U.S. Forest Service operations section chief. The size of the fire has not been updated.

The weather has given the crews an opportunity to “start making some progress” on the fire, Kidd said.

Firefighters started at the southwest corner of the fire, which was secured Thursday with aircraft and ground crews, then moved to the northwest corner. Firefighters were able to enter the trail system then pull away from the fire’s edge and use the trails as a control feature, which will then put the fire back into the control line, Kidd said.

The Muddy Slide Fire began burning Sunday, and crews are still investigating its cause.

The Routt County Sheriff’s Office called for a mandatory evacuation for residents on Routt County Road 16 between mile marker 12 and mile marker 21 on Wednesday, when the fire made a rapid downhill run toward those neighborhoods. That mandatory evacuation order is still in effect.

Ground resources are being supported by aerial firefighters in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

The Yampa Valley is expected to receive more cool temperatures Saturday with a chance of rain from a complicated storm system, according to local weather website

“The weather has given us a great opportunity to start making some progress on this fire,” Kidd said. “With the rain and cooler temperatures, we don’t have much fire behavior out there and don’t expect to have much fire behavior for the next several days.”

In addition to the evacuations, the fire claimed seven trailers, a small cabin and some outbuildings on Thursday, when it grew to 4,150 acres. There were 186 personnel working on the fire as of Friday afternoon, according to an InciWeb report from the Forest Service updated Friday.

Routt County set up an online Muddy Slide Fire Current Evacuation Notices interactive map. The site provides an interactive map for current evacuation notices.

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