Rain keeps lid on wildfire south of Hayden

— Firefighters battling a wildfire south of Hayden got an assist from a rainstorm Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The fire is expected to be fully contained today, officials said.

The Beaver Flat Fire, burning in spruce and fir stands near Stinsby Reservoir in the Routt National Forest, was first discovered late Tuesday morning. Stinsby Reservoir is about 20 miles south of Hayden.

No homes or other structures are threatened by the fire, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Diann Ritschard said. Lightning is thought to be the cause of the fire, though officials still are investigating.

The size of the fire increased from 32 acres to 53 acres Thursday, but officials attributed the change to more accurate mapping as opposed to fire growth. Lynn Barclay, spokeswoman for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, said the fire was 80 percent contained Thursday evening. Full containment is expected by noon today, she said.

Although the blaze is burning in heavy downed timber, Barclay said rain and high humidity were significant factors in the fire remaining relatively small. Northwest Colorado has experienced a dry spell of late with above-average temperatures. As a result, the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning last weekend for much of western Colorado. That warning has expired. Temperatures around Steamboat are expected to climb back into the mid- and upper 70s today and through the weekend, with overnight lows in the upper 30s.

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