Silver Creek Fire surpasses 4,500 acres; no structures lost |

Silver Creek Fire surpasses 4,500 acres; no structures lost

The column of smoke from the Silver Creek Fire as seen from Rabbit Ears Pass. (Photo by Katie Berning)

KREMMLING — Additional personnel and resources joined efforts Thursday to fight the Silver Creek Fire after officials transferred command of the fire to a Type 2 incident crew.

The fire has grown to more than 4,500 acres and wind pushed fire activity on the north and south, which is closest to Latigo Ranch and Old Park. The crew has grown to 323 personnel from just over 200 earlier this week.

So far, no structures have been damaged or lost.

Crews on Friday focused on creating fire lines from Forest Service Road 100 on the east to the south side of the fire.

At a glance

Silver Creek Fire
• Acres: 4,539
• Containment: 5 percent
• Location: Gore Mountain
• Start date: July 19
• Cause: lightning
• More info:

“We’re trying to get as much of (the east and south) line secured, wherever we have to pull resources,” planning operations trainee Shay Rogge said. “The only time (crews) are going to move out of there is when their lives or safety is in danger.”

Containment of the fire decreased to 5 percent due to the growth of the fire.

Crews are relying on air resources, including four helicopters, to drop water and retardant to slow the progression of the fire toward Old Park. They are also building fire lines using bulldozers and other heavy machinery to clear a space free of fuel in between the fire and the structures.

“They’re taking away as much as they can of available fuel,” Rogge said.

Night operations continue using air resources and ground crews. Officials said the fire is being fought around the clock.

There have been no spot fires within Old Park but some flames in between the neighborhood and Latigo Ranch. Rogge said they received permission to use water from Latigo Ranch’s pool and pond to fight the fire.

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said fire crews have placed defense at every home at risk in Old Park.

“The houses along that top rim have fire engines and crews sitting at every single house,” Schroetlin said. “There’s a virtual army of firefighters sitting in Old Park and waiting, and they’re watching for the spot fires, protecting houses.”

Rogge said that mornings have been calm, but the fire has been reaching critical points in the afternoons when weather shifts. Thursday’s thunderstorms did not provide any rain or lightning over the area but did bring strong wind that pushed the fire.

A chance of thunderstorms persists for Friday, which could produce gusty winds again. If conditions are appropriate, crews may take the opportunity to burn any unconsumed fuel that remains in the area between the fire and the constructed fire line.

“There’s no guarantee with any of this when you’re dealing with spots and receptive fuels,” Rogge said. “All we’re doing is what we can to point protect as much as we can.”

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