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The original item was published from 9/27/2020 12:03:00 PM to 9/28/2020 1:05:32 PM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: September 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Middle Fork Fire Update - 9/27/2020

2020_09_15- NewsFlash

Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet for 9/27/2020   
 Incident Commander: 
Sean Carey, Type 3 IMT
Fire Information: 970-724-3027                                             

Today’s Situation: Under strong winds yesterday, approximately 380 acres of fire growth occurred primarily along the southern perimeter in heavy timber stands on the ridge north of South Fork drainage and on Horse Thief Peak. Wind-thrown embers ignited numerous small spot fires outside the main body of the fire, most of which appear north and south of the fire perimeter. 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). The incident management team appreciates the public’s appreciation and desire to donate sweets and treats. However, crews are well provided for, and the Incident Command Post can quickly become overwhelmed with goods we can’t consume. We encourage those who wish to make donations to consider supporting local fire protection districts, which protect and serve local communities year-round.

Weather: Partly cloudy, with scattered showers this afternoon. Highs will be in the low 50s with relative humidity of 27 - 32%. West winds 5 - 10 mph, gusting to 20 mph.

Fire Behavior: Cooler temperatures and higher humidity should temper behavior today. Crews expect to see the fire creeping, smoldering, and isolated and group torching events, mostly during windy conditions. While the objective for this fire is full suppression, the Incident Management Team expects it will be active until persistent cool, wet 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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