West Routt fire grows to 2,089 acres
Firefighters are expecting another long day at the scene of a wildfire in West Routt County that continued to grow rapidly overnight.
Aircraft pilots reported Tuesday morning the Deep Creek Fire had consumed 2,089 acres.
“It made a huge run with downhill, down-valley winds,” Regional Fire Management Officer Sam Parsons said.
Routt County rancher and commissioner Doug Monger, who lives in the vicinity of the blaze, said he watched as the fire flared up Monday evening.
“It was really blowing and going last night and I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.
The fire ran to the south and west overnight.
Routt County Emergency Management Director David “Mo” DeMorat said only the Wolf Mountain Ranch on Routt County Road 52 had to be evacuated due to the Deep Creek Fire on Monday.
About 42 residences within a five-mile radius of the blaze have been told to be ready to evacuate.
“The plan for today is to continue on the structure protection, continue on the indirect attack using the aircraft,” DeMorat said.
The fire, which is burning north of U.S. Highway 40 between Milner and Hayden near Wolf Mountain, exploded from 2 acres to 419 acres Monday afternoon.
Steamboat residents awoke to find ash on their windshields and the valley socked in smoke.
DeMorat said an incident command post has been established at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden.
Control of the fire, which is burning on Bureau of Land Management land, is being handed over to the state.
Routt County Commissioners were briefed about the status of the fire this morning.
They were told a Type II incident command team could be requested to oversee firefighting operations.
“There’s going to be a lot more horsepower with a lot more people to help handle this,” Parsons said. “It’s going to be $1 million more than expected (to fight), but the state is going to pick up that cost.”
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