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The original item was published from 10/5/2020 9:34:00 AM to 10/5/2020 11:38:55 AM.

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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: September 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Middle Fork Fire Update - 10/5/2020

2020_09_29- NewsFlash

Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet
Acres: 8,875

Incident Commander:
Kelly Boyd, Type 3 IMT
Fire Information: 970-439-4725                                         

Today’s Situation: The Middle Fork Fire continues to burn along the perimeter with minimal acres consumed. Moderate fire behavior has been observed and will continue with isolated short runs in timber and creeping or backing fire along the ground. Winds of out the west will be gustier than the last several days. Temperatures are projected above normal through the extended forecasted. Full suppression tactics employed include using helicopters to keep fire growth in check using bucket drops of water to cool the intensity of the small group torching. There may be smoke in the Steamboat Springs area in the morning due to shifting winds but will dissipate in the afternoon. 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. Large plumes of smoke visible high in the sky are very likely from the Mullen Fire which is more than 27 miles to the northeast of the Middle Fork Fire. 

Weather: Mostly sunny skies with highs between 65-68 degrees and relative humidity of 11 - 16%. Winds are out of the west at 7-12 mph by 1200 increasing to 10-15 with gusts up to 25 mph in the afternoon. Clear night skies with lows between 28-32 degrees and relative humidity of 37-42% and winds out of the northeast at 5 mph after sunset.  

Fire Behavior: Moderate with flanking, backing, and isolated/group torching events. 

Firefighting Resources: Approximately 83 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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