Silver Creek Fire nearly doubles in size, continues to grow |

Silver Creek Fire nearly doubles in size, continues to grow

Cows eat in a pasture along the Silver Creek Fire.
Matt Stensland

9:30 p.m. Update: Colo. Highway 134 is now closed. Potential U.S. Highway 40 closure is dependent on what the smoke does and how it would affect visibility.
Fire is three to five miles from Lake Agnes Community.
About 200 homes have been evacuated.
Fire is 10,425 acres as of Friday night.
53,00 gallons of slurry dropped Friday.
Still warm and dry weather predicted. Winds not expected to be as strong in coming days.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Firefighters on Friday continued to try to tame the defiant Silver Creek Fire burning southeast of Steamboat Springs.

Between Wednesday and Thursday night, the fire had nearly doubled in size from a steady 5,008 acres to 9,472 acres.

“It will increase today,” U.S Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said.

The lightning-caused fire is 53 percent contained.

In addition to the homes in the fire’s path, one concern is that the fire could force the closure of U.S. Highway 40.

The fire Friday was about 2 miles from U.S. 40.

Grand County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Dan Mayer said it is constantly being assessed as to whether to close U.S. 40.

“I don’t think they’ve set any specific trigger points because it’s so widespread,” Mayer said. “There are probably three different areas where it’s close.”

Fire behavior Thursday was described as extreme. It was fueled by strong winds and low humidity that bottomed out at seven percent.

More hot and dry weather was in store for the weekend.

Tankers were again dropping retardant on the fire.

On Thursday, four tankers from Jefferson County did seven drops with a total of 20,462 gallons of retardant.

The fire has two active fronts; one to the north on Rabbit Ears Pass in the Buffalo Park area.

The fire also traveled across Red Dirt Reservoir on Thursday and spread to new terrain north of Latigo Guest Ranch.

Latigo Guest Ranch and Yost Ranch have been evacuated.

Pre-evacuation notices have been issued for Old Park, Gore Lakes, Rabbit Ears Village, Bear Mountain Ranch and the Lake Agnes area. Grand County issued an evacuation order for the Milk Creek State Wildlife Area to clear hunters from the fire’s projected path.

More personnel have arrived at the fire.

A Type 2 incident management team was taking over management of the fire Friday night. There are currently 175 people assigned to the fire.

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

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