Milner fires flare again

A 150-acre brush fire near Milner that firefighters thought was extinguished late Sunday night flared again Monday, burning just under five acres before being contained.

Routt County Emergency Services Director Chuck Vale said the fire jumped containment lines on the southeast side when the wind picked up Monday afternoon.

"The wind pushed the fire back toward some homes near the Saddleback Ranch area; that was our concern today," Vale said Monday. "We stationed an engine at one house just in case."

Vale said flames Sunday and Monday reached 30 to 40 feet high.

"When it gets to burning in that gambel oak, that's what you get. And if you don't create a defensible space around your house, we cannot protect it," Vale said.

Vale said conditions are primed for fire.

"The relative humidity is down in the 4-percent range, that's extremely low," Vale said.

Fewer firefighters responded to the smaller flare Monday, after dozens of people from throughout the Yampa Valley assisted in the 150-acre brush fire Sunday.

"Two dozers were able to cut a fireline around the fire to keep the fuel away from the fire," Vale said. "And we now have a fireline around the entire outside of this fire."

Although the situation is under control, Vale said crews will have to monitor the area two miles south of Milner for the next couple of days.

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