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Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet for 9/28/2020Acres: 7,897 Incident Commander: Sean Carey, Type 3 IMTFire Information: 970-724-3027 Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/
Today’s Situation: Cooler weather yesterday resulted in minimal creeping and smoldering along the fire’s edge. Isolated pockets of heat remain at the northeast and southwest corners of the perimeter. Moderate fire behavior is expected today under sunny skies, lower humidity, and warmer conditions. The numerous spot fires that developed around the fire perimeter during red flag winds demonstrate how receptive the extremely dry fuels are to any spark. 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). Fire managers and the National Forest regularly evaluate the extent of the area closure and will adjust it to reduce impacts to public land users when they are confident it is safe to do so.
Weather: Mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid-50s and lower relative humidity of 15 - 20%. Winds are out of the north at 10 mph, shifting to northwest, 15 mph this afternoon.
Fire Behavior: With warmer, drier conditions, crews expect to see increased creeping, smoldering, and isolated and group torching events. 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 87 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.com. The county provides tips for wildfire preparedness, including planning for pets and livestock, on their website at http://www.co.routt.co.us/309/Fire-Safety-Tips-for-Rural-Residents.
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:
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 https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/