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Cabin Lake Fire

Unit Information

White River National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
900 Grand Ave.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602

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Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 970-364-6112
Hours: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm

Cabin Lake Fire Information

Southern Area Incident Management Team

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Aug. 15, 2018 1 p.m.

Quick Facts
Fire size: 3,700 acres and 35% contained.
Location: 16 miles southeast of Meeker, CO.
Start date July 29, 2018
Cause unknown.
Total personnel: 313

Evacuations and Closures Information

Rio Blanco County Dispatch (970) 878-9600
Rio Blanco County Sheriff's App and Facebook
Rio Blanco County alerts at

Fire Information
(970) 364-6112

Announcement: The Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office will convene a public meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Buford School to provide an update on the Cabin Lake Fire.

Evacuations: Yesterday, Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola issued a mandatory evacuation for County Road 10. A pre-evacuation warning remains in effect for County Road 17.

Previous operational period: The Cabin Lake Fire was very active and continued to spread toward the southeast while also backing down into the South Fork of the White River. In the afternoon and evening, the fire exhibited extreme behavior due to dry fuels and gusting 45 mph outflow winds from thunderstorm cells in the area. The fire established in the South Fork White River drainage. Night operations actively patrolled the evacuated areas and monitored fire activity.

Planned action: The Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team assumed command of the fire at 6 a.m. today. Crews continue full suppression efforts to minimize fire spread and put out spot fires outside existing containment lines. Air Support continues as wind and visibility allow. Helicopters and single engine air tankers, shared with nearby fires in the region, are coordinating with ground crews to drop water and retardant as they become available.

Smoke impacts: Colder temperatures overnight resulted in smoke settling in the White River Valley. For air quality and health advisory information, please visit weather: High pressure systems in the Southwest will maintain a northwest wind with erratic and gusty outflow winds. Relative humidity minimums will be around 20% with a Haines Index of 6.

Restrictions and Closures

  • The Buford New Castle Road remains closed at the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 17 and south to the turnoff to the Meadow Lake Campground (Forest Service Road 601).
  • County Road 10 is open to residents only between the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 17.
  • An emergency area closure remains in place on the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest— All trailheads and campgrounds in the South Fork drainage are closed.
  • A temporary flight restriction remains in effect

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnknown. Under Investigation.
Date of OriginSunday July 29th, 2018 approx. 02:00 PM
Location16 miles SE of Meeker, CO
Incident CommanderSteven Parrish, ICT2
Coordinates39.916 latitude, -107.64 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel326
Size5,188 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained29%
Estimated Containment DateWednesday October 03rd, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (litter and understory), Brush (2 feet). Late successional spruce/fir with heavy dead/down component. Aspen prevalent on many areas at middle elevations, transitioning to oak-brush at low elevations. Energy Release Components (ERCs) above the 90th percentile and increasing.

Significant Events

Fire continues to actively spread towards the north, east and south. Crown runs and long range spotting approaching one mile occurred last evening. Fire is active on multiple sides with 6-10ft flame lengths, steady rates of spread approaching 20 chains per hour and probability of ignition of 75%


Planned Actions

Address spot fires and provide structure protection in the vicinity of Bucks, Bulls Ranch and along County Road 17 and County Road 10. Provide structure assessment and protection along County Rd 10 and the South White River Valley. Remaining resources will patrol and monitor the fire and take actions along indirect control lines.

Projected Incident Activity

12 Hours: Active to extreme fire behavior including crown runs and long range spotting across containment lines on North and East sides of fire with heavy resistance to control. Extreme smoke production. Continued growth to the north and east.

24 Hours: Continued active to potentially extreme fire behavior. Crown runs and long distance spotting are likely. Heavy resistance to control remains. With growth expected to move South and East along CR 10.

48 Hours: Fuels remain extremely dry. ERC remains in the mid 90th percentiles. Likelihood of active fire behavior with fire spread growth remains. Precipitation chances remain slim

72 Hours: Little to no precipitation in the forecast. Fuels remain dry with high potential for active to extreme fire behavior. ERC components continue to rise.

Anticipated after 72 hrs: Little change in weather forecast at this time. Dry pattern expected to continue with fuels remaining extremely dry. Fire danger and potential remains very high.


Air Operations summary as of 1700 8/15/18: 75,658 gallons of retardant from VLAT, Heavy Tankers and SEATS. 99,000 gallons of water from helicopters. Used to protect over 80 structures, to slow the fire advance keeping it west of CR 10 and to give ground crews time to establish firelines and to contain spot fires from Tuesday.

Acres by ownership

FS: 3,813



Total: 5,188

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Partly cloudy with widely scattered storms (20-25%), gusty/erratic outflow winds. Highs 75-82. Minimum humidity 18-23%. West-northwest winds 6-10moh with gusts up to 15mph. Haines index of 6