A single-engine air tanker drops fire retardant Wednesday on the Sugar Fire, a wildfire that burned five acres of Bureau of Land Management land about 20 miles west of Craig. The Sugar Fire was ignited by a lightning strike about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. It was reportedly contained at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Photo by Joe Moylan

A single-engine air tanker drops fire retardant Wednesday on the Sugar Fire, a wildfire that burned five acres of Bureau of Land Management land about 20 miles west of Craig. The Sugar Fire was ignited by a lightning strike about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. It was reportedly contained at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

Sugar Fire contained

Firefighters with the Bureau of Land Management, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service have contained a five-acre blaze in Moffat County.

The Sugar Fire was ignited by a lightning strike about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on BLM land off U.S. Highway 40 about 20 miles west of Craig.

A 20-person hand crew and one BLM engine returned to the scene Thursday and reported the fire was contained at 10:45 a.m.

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported, said officials with the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

Colt Mortenson, BLM fire management officer, responded to the scene Wednesday.

Though the blaze was burning on BLM land, the Sugar Fire ignited close to private property on the fire’s southern perimeter, Mortenson said.

Upon arrival, firefighters immediately began suppression and containment operations on the south edge of the fire to protect structures.

A single-engine air tanker, stationed at the Craig-Moffat County Airport, also responded, dropping three loads of fire retardant to assist firefighters on the ground, fire officials said.

Erik Bloom, BLM interagency squad leader, served as incident commander, Mortenson said.

The Sugar Fire was one of three confirmed wildfires reported Wednesday in Moffat County.

The two others ignited near Greystone. Lightining is the suspected cause in both incidents.

A Helitack crew responded to the Dry Knob Fire, which burned one tenth of an acre on BLM land. It was reportedly contained at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The Sheephead Fire burned five acres of BLM land off Colorado Highway 318 about 25 miles northwest of Maybell.

That fire was also contained Wednesday around 7 p.m.

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported in either of the Greystone incidents.

Fire crews returned to the Dry Knob and Sheephead fires Thursday to conduct mop up operations.

Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in place in Moffat County despite forecasted showers at higher elevations, said Lynn Barclay, public information officer for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

Low humidity and high winds are expected through the rest of the week, which will increase fire danger at lower elevations, she said.

Local, state and federal fire officials are expected to meet Tuesday to discuss conditions and fire danger in northwest Colorado.

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