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Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet 9/18/2020
Today’s Situation: The fire has spread west onto the ridge north of South Fork drainage. Helicopters are helping to keep this growth in check. Forecasted winds out of the west today should push the western perimeter of the fire back into areas already burned, limiting the fire’s rate of spread to the west. The area closure has been extended to the west to keep the recreating public out of harm’s way. Crews have begun preparing an indirect fire line along Elk Park trail and are weighing other options for direct line construction. They are engaging the fire when and where they have the highest probability of success with public and firefighter safety as the highest priority. Visitors, please avoid entering the area closure (see Forest Closure below) for your own safety and to allow firefighters to focus on fire operations, rather than visitor management.
Fire Behavior: With moderate fire behavior, the fire is advancing through heavy fuels, especially when winds, topography, and fuels align. It is burning most actively in the late afternoon hours. While this is a full suppression fire, the Incident Management Team expects the fire to burn until a persistent seasonal change of weather arrives.
Weather: Mostly sunny with increasing clouds this afternoon. Highs today are predicted to be in the upper 60s. Down-valley winds of 5 - 10 mph this morning will shift to west winds of 6 – 12 mph, gusting to 20 mph this afternoon. Relative humidity will be higher at 13 – 18%. Chance for scattered showers for several days starting this weekend.
Firefighting Resources: Approximately 95 personnel are assigned to the fire, including three helicopters (2-Type 1 and 2-Type 3) and fixed-wing air attack to help coordinate aerial operations.
Evacuations: There are no evacuation or pre-evacuation orders in effect. If the fire were to reach any pre-identified management action points, it would trigger Routt County to initiate pre-evacuation orders through their reverse-911 system. To sign up for alerts, visit http://routtcountyalerts.com
Forest Closure: Routt National Forest has expanded the closure area. The closure boundary follows Mount Zirkel Wilderness boundary on east. On the south it follows Trail 1132 (Newcomb Creek), Trail 1101 (CDNST), the Wilderness boundary, and Trails 1100 (Swamp Park), 1140 (Saddle), and 1171 (Red Dirt). On the west it follows the boundary between National Forest and private lands east of Big Creek from Red Dirt Trailhead to Trail 1176 (Roaring Fork) and continues north along the Wilderness boundary. On the north it follows the North Fork Drainage up to The Dome, east to Lost Ranger Peak, CDNST, and Trail 1131 (Lost Ranger). Trails 1131, 1132, 1166, and 1140 are open. Portion of Trails 1100 and 1171 are open where they follow the closure boundary, closed where they enter the closed area. No roads or trailheads are closed.
Closed trails include:
Fire Restrictions: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect in Routt and Jackson counties, on all of the Routt National Forest, and across much of Northwest Colorado.
Information for the Middle Fork Fire in the Routt National Forest, north of Steamboat Springs, can be found on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB and InciWeb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/.