Wildfire update: Northwest Colorado fires quickly extinguished; larger blazes continue to grow | SteamboatToday.com

Wildfire update: Northwest Colorado fires quickly extinguished; larger blazes continue to grow

BLM joined multiple agencies in fighting a small fire that threatened several structures Thursday.
Sasha Nelson/Craig Press

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Several small wildfires across northwest Colorado were extinguished this week, while larger fires in southern Colorado and just north of the state line in Wyoming continued to grow.

The Fourmile Fire burned about 500 acres of sagebrush 23 miles north of Craig near Colorado Highway 13 before being extinguished Thursday. Some firefighters from that blaze were redeployed to a small wildfire along U.S. Highway 40 near Maybell. That fire was quickly contained Thursday and is thought to be less than 20 acres. In Routt County, a small fire broke out Thursday evening in Oak Creek Canyon and also was quickly contained.

A red flag warning for much of western Colorado, including Routt County, is in effect until 9 p.m. Friday. The warning, which was issued by the National Weather Service, indicates conditions are “conducive to extreme fire behavior,” according to Norv Larson, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Friday’s storms are expected to bring dry lightning and wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour, according to a hazardous weather outlook issued by the Weather Service. Rain is forecast to arrive Friday evening and fall through the weekend, though not much accumulation is expected.

Fire danger in Routt and Moffat counties is rated as very high. There are currently no fire restrictions in place, but that could change “at any time,” according to David “Mo” DeMorat, director of Emergency Operations in Routt County. DeMorat said local and federal agencies regularly review fire danger in the area and will discuss restrictions on a scheduled Tuesday call.

Update on wildfires burning across Colorado

Smoke rises from the 416 Fire behind the U.S. Highway 550 road block at Cometti Lane on June 13 near Durango. (Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald)

416 Fire

• Size: 32,959
• Containment: 18 percent
• Location: 13 miles north of Durango
• Start date: June 1
• Cause: unknown
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5822/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/416Fire/

As the 416 fire grows more mammoth in the San Juan National Forest 13 miles north of Durango, firefighters brought in a meteorologist equipped with sophisticated atmospheric gear and a weather balloon to gauge the potential danger of expected lightning strikes.

The wildfire has now consumed 32,076 acres since June 1, and hot, dry weather conditions have been anything but kind to the 1,137 firefighters tasked to the wildfire. Fire commanders worried conditions could get much worse Thursday with Tropical Storm Bud making landfall and heading in their direction. Although heavy rains could quench the flames, lightning strikes could multiply problems. On Thursday, they experienced isolated thunderstorms with light rains and lightning strikes.

A red flag warning is in place Friday for the fire area from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Read the full story at DenverPost.com.

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

Badger Creek Fire

• Size: 14,960 acres
• Containment: zero
• Location: Snowy Range and Medicine Bow National Forests, Wyoming (Evacuations have extended to the Colorado state line.)
• Start date: June 10
• Cause: unknown
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5836/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/BadgerCreekFire/

The Badger Creek Fire claimed three structures in the Wold Tract — one residence and two out buildings — and continues to grow, Rocky Mountain Black Team Incident Commander Shane Greer said.

Read the full story at LaramieBoomerang.com.

Hand crews on Sunday focused their efforts near roads on the southern end of the fire. (Emily Rice/The Journal)

Burro Fire

• Size: 3,408 acres
• Containment: zero
• Location: San Juan National Forest
• Start date: June 8
• Cause: under investigation
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5834/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/BurroFire/

More than 170 firefighters were battling the Burro Fire on Thursday south of Rico, which was in its seventh day and had burned 3,400 acres in and around the Bear Creek drainage.

Because of the heavily timbered, steep terrain, containment has been a challenge and remains at zero percent.

Rain expected in the next few days could help slow the fire. But the storm front’s erratic winds could expand the fire, and lightning could start new fires in the dry forest suffering from exceptional drought, said Andy Lyons, public information officer for the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

Read the full story at DurangoHerald.com.

Horse Park Fire

• Size: 1,221 acres
• Containment: 100 percent
• Location: 15 miles southwest of Norwood
• Start date: May 26
• Cause: lightning
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5819/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/HorseParkFire/

Bocco Fire

• Size: 415 acres
• Containment: 50 percent
• Location: 3 miles northwest of Wolcott
• Start date: June 9
• Cause: unknown
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5835/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/BoccoFire/

The Bocco fire just northwest of Wolcott, burned more than 415 acres. As of mid-day on Tuesday, June 12, the fire hadn’t grown, but was only about 50 percent contained.

Read the full story at VailDaily.com.

A wildland firefighter works to contain the flames at the Buffalo Fire site Wednesday, June 13, near Silverthorne. (Hugh Carey/Summit Daily)

Buffalo Mountain Fire

• Size: 91 acres
• Containment: 45 percent
• Location: 2 miles west of Silverthorne
• Start date: June 12
• Cause: unknown
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5841/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/BuffaloFire/

Residents of the Mesa Cortina and Wildernest neighborhoods came back to homes untouched by fire Thursday afternoon as an evacuation order for the Buffalo Mountain Fire was lifted and replaced with a pre-evacuation notice.

Authorities announced Wednesday night that the fire remained at 91 acres and that power and gas had been restored to the neighborhoods. The fire danger in the county was also raised to “Very High” as forests continue to dry out and raise the danger of another wildfire exploding in the backcountry.

On Thursday afternoon, the county announced that the fire was approximately 45 percent contained.

Read the full story at SummitDaily.com.

Natty Fire

• Size: 79 acres
• Containment: 100 percent
• Location: Cannon City
• Start date: June 8
• Cause: lightning
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5832/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/NattyFire/

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