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Routt County holds off on fire restrictions; fireworks in Steamboat still in limbo

Smoke can be seen rising June 13 from the Medicine Bow National Forest near Woods Landing during the Badger Creek Fire.
(Shannon Brockerick/Laramie Boomerang

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Local officials do not have any immediate plans to enact fire restrictions in Routt County, and it remains unclear whether Steamboat Springs will host July Fourth fireworks.

Land managers and fire officials from 13 jurisdictions in the region held their weekly conference call Tuesday.

“I think the moisture helped,” Routt County Emergency Management Director David “Mo” DeMorat said, referring to weekend rains that helped calm down Colorado wildfires. “It didn’t put them out, but it definitely subdued them a bit, so firefighters could get some good work done on them.”

The officials discussed the seven criteria that are used to help decide whether to put restrictions in place.

DeMorat said Routt County is currently meeting two of the seven criteria, which range from the moisture in fuels to the availability of firefighting resources in the state.

Restrictions are typically enacted once four of the criteria are met.

“You can go into restrictions before, but it provides a more scientific approach,” DeMorat said.

Routt National Forest spokesman Aaron Voos said the U.S. Forest Service is closely monitoring the moisture in fuels.

Routt County and Moffat County are holding off on restrictions, and conditions will be reassessed next week.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Chief Mel Stewart said he has still not decided whether the city’s July Fourth fireworks show will go on.

“I’m hoping to land on something in the next day or two,” Stewart said. “We did get some moisture over the weekend. That reduced our fire danger down a bit.”

There was one small wildfire reported Monday morning.

Several people reported seeing smoke on Buffalo Pass below the power lines.

A Classic Air Medical helicopter located the position of the small, lightning-caused fire that was burning at the base of a few trees.

Forest Service firefighters responded to the fire.

The Badger Creek Fire burning near the Wyoming border is now 88-percent contained after burning 20,090 acres.

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


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