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Middle Fork Fire Fact SheetAcres: 17,832Incident Commander: Jeramy Dietz, Type 3 IMT Fire Information: 970-439-4725Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/
Today’s Situation: The Middle Fork Fire has crossed a management action point along the northwest part of the fire which caused a need for an area closure expansion. Fire managers and the National Forest will be increasing the extent of the area closure today, mostly in the northwest area of the fire, to increase safety of public and firefighters. The Chilton Trailhead and NSFR 444.1A and 471.B leading to the trailhead will be closed today. The recent growth of 641 acres is mostly along the northwest flank, with minor growth west and south due to winds out of the south pushing the fire back onto itself. Two fixed wing airtankers are scooping water out of Lake John and attacking the southern flanks successfully. Please do not boat on Lake John so firefighting efforts can continue uninterrupted. Several more resources were ordered and are starting to arrive to act swiftly. There will be more engines and other equipment along or near the Buffalo Pass road, Dry Lake Trailhead (TH), Summit Park TH, Elk Park TH, and NFSR 314; please give firefighters space to do their work. The helicopters continue to drop water on the fire along the east, west and northwest flanks of the fire. Please be aware of the additional trails and roads that are now closed. Fire behavior today will continue to be active as the cold front brings increasing winds. The passing cold front is driving winds up and temperatures down with the possibility of precipitation today. However, the extended forecast is predicting temperatures to return to the 70s by end of next week. Expect smoke to return to the Steamboat Springs area by mid-week resulting from the Mullen, Cameron Peak and Middle Fork fires.
First rifle season is ongoing, so please be cautious when recreating near the area closure for your safety and the safety of the firefighters.
Weather: Cloudy skies with highs between 39-44 degrees and relative humidity of 36-41%. Upslope/upvalley winds at 12-18 mph with gusts to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust to 35-45 mph at the higher elevations to the east of the fire. Expect 0.2 inches of precipitation over the fire area with snow at the higher elevations to the east with 1-4 inches possible. Conditions are expected to dry out in the late afternoon into evening after front passes. Mostly clear night skies with lows between 23-28 degrees and relative humidity of 58-63% with winds out of the west at 10-15 mph with gusts up to 20 mph in the early morning.
Fire Behavior: Minimal to moderate with flanking and backing fire towards the northeast, northwest and southeast.
Firefighting Resources: Approximately 113 personnel are assigned to the fire, including five helicopters (three Type 1, one type 2, and one Type 3), two single engine airtankers, and a fixed-wing air attack to help coordinate aerial operations.
Evacuations: There are no evacuation or pre-evacuation orders in effect for Routt County. Pre-evacs are in place in Jackson county for Rainbow Lakes, Aqua Fria, as well as Teal and Tiago Lakes. That notification from Jackson County was primarily made for hunters, and ranchers with cattle in those areas. Not all management action points stimulate evacuations, however if the fire were to reach any pre-identified management action points that are evacuation related, it would trigger Routt and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to initiate pre-evacuation orders through their reverse-911 system. To sign up for alerts, visit http://routtcountyalerts.com or https://jacksoncountyor.org/emergency/Resources/Citizen-Alert. 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. See the Closure Map and Closure Order posted on Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/ for further details.
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.