New Silver Creek Fire burning in Routt National Forest
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A new wildfire burning in Routt National Forest south of U.S. Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass has a lot of potential for growth, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire was estimated Friday to be 12 to 15 acres. It is located a couple hundred yards from the top of Gore Mountain on the east-facing side of the peak.
“It’s a lot of dead and down lodgepole,” Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said. “Some spruce and fir mixed into it.”
It’s burning just a couple of miles southeast of where a fire burned in 2016, also called the Silver Creek Fire. That lightning-caused fire ended up burning 469 acres and cost $400,000 to fight. No structures were damaged.
The cause of the current Silver Creek Fire is under investigation.
“The cause is unknown, but it’s highly probable that it’s lightning,” Voos said.
There are currently about 15 people and a helicopter assigned to the fire, but no one is physically at the scene because it is too dangerous.
“It’s in thick, nasty stuff, so we couldn’t send anyone safely into it,” Voos said.
The firefighters are developing a plan for how to manage the fire and its anticipated growth, Voos said.
The fire is on the edge of the wilderness. It could move out of Routt County into Grand County and then cross into the Arapahoe National Forest, state and private land.
The Forest Service has classified the fire as a full-suppression fire, meaning they would like to put it out.
“Just because it does have a lot of growth potential,” Voos said.
Nothing of value is currently at risk, though people should expect trail or area closures near the fire.
It is likely that smoke will be visible from the Kremmling area.
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