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The original item was published from 9/26/2020 3:04:00 PM to 9/27/2020 12:03:05 PM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: September 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Middle Fork Fire Update - 9/26/2020

2020_09_15- NewsFlash

Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet for 9/26/2020  
 Incident Commander: 
Sean Carey, Type 3 IMT
Fire Information: 970-724-3027                                             

Today’s Situation: The fire is consuming available fuels on the ridge north of South Fork drainage along the southern perimeter. To the north, it is working its way toward Roaring Fork Creek and Big Creek. Along the southeast perimeter, the fire is moving through heavy timber stands north of Horse Thief Peak, while it continues to hold on the east and northeast, and growth to the northwest and southwest has slowed in the past few days. Continued windy conditions today will promote short crown runs and group torching events that will likely produce a noticeable smoke column. Ground crews are directing water drops from helicopters where flareups occur to help limit rate of spread. Persistent drought has created extremely dry fuels that are receptive to burning. An area closure remains in effect, and visitors are reminded to avoid the area for their own safety and to allow firefighters to focus on fire operations, rather than visitor management (see Forest Closure below). 

Weather: Mostly sunny this morning turning partly cloudy this afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 60s with relative humidity of 19 - 24%. West winds 10 - 15 mph, gusting to 25 mph.

Fire Behavior: Continued strong winds will promote single tree and group tree torching and small crown run events. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity could help moderate this behavior. While the objective for this fire is full suppression, the Incident Management Team expects it will be active until cooler, wetter weather sets in.

Firefighting Resources: Approximately 89 personnel are assigned to the fire, including four helicopters (two Type 1 and two Type 3) and a 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 Sheriff’s Office to initiate pre-evacuation orders through their reverse-911 system. To sign up for alerts, visit http://routtcountyalerts.comThe county provides tips for wildfire preparedness, including planning for pets and livestock, on their website at

Forest Closure: Routt National Forest has issued an area closure. 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), 1140.1A (Saddle Cut-off), 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: 

  • Appx. 10 miles of CDNST from 1132 to 1131
  • 1130 Rainbow Lake
  • 1179 Roxy Ann Lake
  • 1099 Ditch Creek
  • 1100 and 1100.4A Swamp Park (within Wilderness Area only)
  • 1118 Elk Park
  • 1168 Luna Lake
  • 1168.1 Fish Hawk Lake
  • 1170 Chilton
  • 1182 Crags
  • 1184 Big Creek Lake
  • 1171 Red Dirt past Trail 1140 intersection

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.

Fire Information: Information for the Middle Fork Fire in the Routt National Forest, north of Steamboat Springs, can be found on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB and InciWeb

Additional Info...
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