Updates on Silver Creek Fire and Ryan Fire burning near Steamboat Springs
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Significant smoke plumes from both the Silver Creek Fire and Ryan Fire farther north could be seen from Steamboat Springs on Saturday, Sept. 22, prompting public concern. However, the increased smoke is largely due to successful fire mitigation efforts. For an updated, interactive fire map with information on both fires, visit inciweb.nwcg.gov.
Silver Creek Fire
Heavy smoke remains due to successful burnout operations and continued fire activity within the Sarvis Creek Wilderness, where interior pockets of timber continue to burn within the containment zone.
Thick smoke and poor visibility may be present on U.S. Highway 40 as those operations continue along the northeastern side of the fire. More law enforcement will be present to aid the public safety of all who are on the roads, including firefighters. Motorists are encouraged to slow down, turn on their headlights and visit cotrip.org for updated road information.
On Saturday, the burnout operation began near Forest Road 100 with hand ignitions. Aerial ignitions will be used for the burnout operation on the northeast edge of the fire to remove unburned fuels of grass and sage. Fire may be seen as close as two miles from U.S. Highway 40. Some crews and equipment have been relocated closer to the operational area for needed support. Structures are being patrolled in the Lake Agnes area, and crews will monitor and patrol for any hot spots near Latigo Ranch and along Forest Road 100.
Clear skies and temperatures near 70 degrees are working to the advantage of burnout operations. With low humidity and light winds, active fire behavior and increased smoke is expected. Weather is forecast to change during the weekend with the possibility of some rain.
Closures issued by United States Forest Service, BLM and Grand County remain in effect for the immediate fire area.
On Friday, clear skies and warmer temperatures fueled increased activity. Smoke was visible most of the day as the fire grew approximately 261 acres to the northeast.
On Saturday, the fire managers anticipated the fire would continue to be active on the northeast side. Long distance spotting is still a possibility. Firefighters are ready to initiate the structure protection that is already in place in Jerry Park, if needed.
A localized Red Flag Warning was in place from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m Saturday due to extremely dry weather conditions, with a minimum relative humidity value of eight percent.
An area closure is in place for National Forest System lands surrounding the Ryan Fire to ensure the protection of the public and fire personnel and will remain in effect until rescinded. This closure is on portions of both the Routt and Medicine Bow national forests. The Ryan Fire area closure will primarily affect hunters with licenses in game management unit 161 in Colorado, as well as elk area 13 and deer area 81 in Wyoming. Hunters are encouraged to obtain a copy of the area closure map before heading into the field.
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