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Middle Fork Fire Fact SheetAcres: 11,005Incident Commander: Jeramy Dietz, Type 3 IMT Fire Information: 970-439-4725Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/
Today’s Situation: The Middle Fork Fire is still entirely within the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness and continues to actively grow. Currently, the fire is active on the southwest, southeast and northwest sides of the perimeter. Moderate fire behavior is expected today with uphill runs, isolated and group torching in timber, and flanking fire along the ground. Full suppression tactics are being used that align with Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) that are required within designated Wilderness areas. The bucket drops of water by the helicopters are keeping fire growth in check by cooling the intensity of the torching events and reducing the spread potential of the fire. An additional type two helicopter is joining suppression efforts for the foreseeable future. Fire managers and the National Forest are evaluating the extent of the area closure and are in discussions about adjusting it to reduce impacts to public land users and increase safety of public and firefighters. Temperatures are projected above normal through the extended forecasted with low relative humidities, which increases the daily burn timeframe. There will be smoke in the Steamboat Springs area resulting from the Mullen, Cameron Peak and Middle Fork fires.
Weather: Mostly sunny skies with highs between 67-71 degrees and relative humidity of 7 - 12%. Winds are out of the southwest to west at 8-12 mph by 1000 with occasional gusts up to 20 mph in the afternoon. Clear night skies with lows between 30-35 degrees and relative humidity of 45-50%.
Fire Behavior: Moderate with flanking, uphill runs, and isolated/group torching events.
Firefighting Resources: Approximately 70 personnel are assigned to the fire, including four helicopters (two Type 1, one type 2, and one 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.