Fire chief continues to work on local plan

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As wildfires continue to burn across much of the state, Moffat County officials are meeting once a week to discuss potential problems and plans should a wildfire break out in the area.

Craig Fire Chief Roy Mason said Tuesday he is meeting with officials from the Moffat County Sheriff's Department, the Bureau of Land Management, Craig and Maybell ambulance services and with the Maybell fire chief each Monday to collect and share the most recent wildfire information. Mason said that while there is no written plan in place, the group is currently in the process of considering and addressing a variety of issues.

"We're sitting down and discussing things," Mason said. "The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) has helped us in identifying potential powder kegs, where explosives are stored (for mining operations). The ambulance services are involved so we're all on the same page should a fire break out. The BLM can give us a lot of weather and (fire) fuel information."

Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead said his department is currently trying to obtain aerial photos of outlying subdivisions to share with the group, should a wildfire occur out of the fire protection district.

"We're trying to do some pre-planning," Grinstead said. "We can't depend on other resources all the time."

Grinstead said the meetings have been productive in an effort to try to stay one step ahead of a wildfire.

Mason said one emphasis in the meetings is identifying areas with high wildfire danger, termed "concern areas." The latest identified concern area is a sagebrush shell south

of Maybell.

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