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Middle Fork Fire

Unit Information

Routt National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
925 Weiss Dr
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

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Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 970-439-4725
Hours: 8 am to 8 pm

Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet for 9-29-2020

Middle Fork Fire Wildfire
News – 9/29/2020

Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet                                                                                                                              9/29/2020       
Acres:
7,897                                                                                                      Incident Commander: Sean Carey, Type 3 IMT
Fire Information phone line: 970-724-3027                                              Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/

Today’s Situation: Middle Fork Fire continues to creep and smolder in available fuels along the fire perimeter. With forecasted sunny and unseasonably warm weather for the next week, increasing fire activity can be expected, especially when winds align with fuels and terrain. Now in its fourth week, the Middle Fork Fire is zero percent contained. A portion of the eastern fire perimeter has not advanced for over two weeks, however, without putting firefighters on the ground to construct containment line, looking, and feeling for heat and extinguishing it, incident managers will not call containment. Full suppression tactics employed include using helicopters to keep fire growth in check and identifying indirect control features that offer a higher probability of success should fire advance toward communities or other values at risk. The fire is likely to smolder until extinguished by snow accumulation. Visitors are reminded to avoid entering the area closure 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 near 70 degrees and relative humidity of 15 - 20%. Winds are out of the west at 10 mph, gusting to 20 mph this afternoon.

Fire Behavior: Minimal to moderate with creeping, smoldering, and isolated and group torching events.

Firefighting Resources: Approximately 84 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:

  • 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.