Routt National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
925 Weiss Dr
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Morgan Creek Fire Update
Monday, July 26, 2021, 10:00 a.m.
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black
Troy Hagan, Incident Commander
Firing Operations Continue on Morgan Creek Fire
Current Situation: Fire behavior was active on Sunday, primarily from the firing operation in Division A. Single tree and group torching was observed as well as backing, flanking, and short-range spotting. Yesterday’s afternoon mapping flight showed an updated acreage of 5,997 acres, a growth of 331 acres. The fire is now 8% contained due to the work of crews in Division Z on the west side of the fire.
Firing operations continued Sunday in Division A. Crews continued firing along the indirect line towards the 400 Road, completing operations to within approximately ½ mile of the road. Firing was halted in the mid-afternoon when adverse winds generated by a thunderstorm northeast of the fire moved into the area. In divisions Z and X, crews continued improving fire lines and mopping up pockets of heat, which led to additional containment on the west side of the fire. Those operations in divisions Z and X will continue today. In Division A, crews are prepared to continue the firing operation today to connect the burned area to County Road 64/Forest Service Road 400 if conditions are favorable. Firing operations along the indirect line will remove unburned fuels to widen the fire line to protect values at risk along County Road 64. One crew and four engines working as a swing shift will patrol established fire lines and the firing operations into the night.
Rocky Mountain Team Black will be transitioning command of the Morgan Creek Fire to a Type 3 organization at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. “Team Black would like to thank the agencies involved in managing the Morgan Creek Fire as well as the community,” said Team Black Incident Commander Troy Hagan. “We’re grateful for the support that we’ve been shown over the past two weeks.”
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Daytime heating and lingering moisture combined to produce showers and thunderstorms on the fire Sunday afternoon. High pressure will strengthen and become centered over the region today, with lingering moisture again with potential to produce storms near the fire Monday afternoon. Away from these buildups, skies will remain mostly sunny through the daytime hours. With drier air and increased sunshine, temperatures will trend warmer and relative humidity lower. Temperatures will be in the mid 80s. Winds will be light and variable in the morning, increasing to 4-9 mph. Mid-slope winds from the northeast may gust to 15 mph in the afternoon. Fire behavior is expected to be similar to Sunday.
Air Quality: Northern Routt County may experience periods of light to moderate smoke from Yampa to the Wyoming border from both local and long-distance fires. Smoke will lift from valleys and drainages late morning to early afternoon with
warming from sunny skies. In addition, smoke from fires in Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, and British Columbia will be visible in the upper atmosphere throughout the day. A smoke plume may be visible from today’s firing operations on the Morgan Creek Fire. Smoke from this plume will settle primarily to the west this afternoon. Heavy smoke may impact Glen Eden and Clark late evening to early morning as smoke cools and drains down into lower elevations. Impacts from smoke production within the Muddy Slide fire are expected to be minimal.
Closures and Evacuations: A forest closure order remains in effect for areas near the Morgan Creek Fire including many areas in the Seedhouse recreation corridor and the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area. The Routt County Sheriff’s Office issued a voluntary pre-evacuation notice for residents near the fire on July 9. That pre-evacuation notice remains in effect and more information is available on the Routt County Current Evacuation Notices Map. Forest Service Road 400, also known as the Seedhouse Road, as well as other Forest Service roads and trails in the closure area remain closed to entry for public and firefighter safety. County Road 64 between County Road 129 and Forest Service Road 400 is limited to emergency and local traffic only. A section of the Continental Divide Trail is closed and hikers are being routed along State Route 129 around the fire area. More information is available on the Continental Divide Trail Coalition website.
Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Morgan Creek Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Morgan Creek Fire Statistics:
Size: 5,997 acres
Total Personnel: 361
Location: 15 miles north of Steamboat Springs, CO
Reported: July 9, 2021
For More Information:
Information Office: (720) 689-3434